NATION

Fiji’s 49th Year Of Independence Celebrated With MFO Medal Presentations To Troops In Sinai, Egypt

2FIR Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Jone Verebasaga said having served six months of their year-long deployment, the soldiers qualified to receive their MFO medals on commemoration of Fiji’s 49th year of independence.
15 Oct 2019 15:09
Fiji’s 49th Year Of Independence Celebrated With MFO Medal Presentations To Troops In Sinai, Egypt
Commanding Officer US Southern Battalion Lieutenant Colonel David Santos pins the MFO medal on Private Apisai Domolailai. Photo: Captain Mark Scott

Troops with the 2nd Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment (2FIR) serving with the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in Sinai, Egypt celebrated Fiji’s 49th year of Independence with medal presentations for those on their first MFO tour of duty.

2FIR Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Jone Verebasaga said having served six months of their year-long deployment, the soldiers qualified to receive their MFO medals on commemoration of Fiji’s 49th year of independence.

“More than 60 Fiji contingent personnel are on their first tour of duty,” Lt Col Verebasaga said.

Lt Col Verebasaga said the troops also performed a traditional farewell ceremony to the Force Commander Australian Army officer Major General Simon Stuart whose three-year term would end in December.

As the chief guest for the medals presentation he was joined by the Chief of Staff US Colonel Robert Duchaine and Commanding Officer US Southern Battalion Lieutenant Colonel David Santos.

From left: 2ND Fiji Infantry Regiment Battalion 3B Commanding Officer (CO) Lieutenant Colonel Jone Verebasaga presents 2FIR gift to the MFO Commander Australian Army Officer Major General Simon Stuart. Photo: Captain Mark Scott

From left: 2ND Fiji Infantry Regiment Battalion 3B Commanding Officer (CO) Lieutenant Colonel Jone Verebasaga presents 2FIR gift to the MFO Commander Australian Army Officer Major General Simon Stuart. Photo: Captain Mark Scott

The outgoing Force Commander said since the 2FIR redeployment from MFO El Gorah Base in the Northern Peninsula of Sinai in 2016, the Fijian soldiers had been under the tactical command of US Southern Battalion.

In his address to the Fiji Day medals parade, the Force Commander Major General Stuart said that it was a great privilege for all of the MFO family to be able to join 2FIR on Fiji Day.

“It’s a special significance I think to receive your MFO medals for service here in our mission on Fiji Day and great credit to all of you on parade today that you have put together and executed such an impressive parade,” he said.

He urged them to wear their medals with pride.

The Chief of Staff US Colonel Robert Duchaine pins the MFO medal on Lance Corporal Josateki Mocevakaca. Photo: Captain Mark Scott

The Chief of Staff US Colonel Robert Duchaine pins the MFO medal on Lance Corporal Josateki Mocevakaca. Photo: Captain Mark Scott

“Thank you for your service and please make sure that you thank your families for their service and their sacrifice, for they are part of this story and they are part of your service too.”

In summary, he said members of the 2FIR were a respected and vital part of the MFO team and they were very proud as their multinational partners to serve alongside with Fijians being a strong, loyal and consistent contributor to this mission since its inception.

US South Batt Commander and Fijian Contingent tactical commander Lieutenant Colonel Santos said that it was an honor and humbling to be given the opportunity to pin the medals on these great soldiers.

“We work hand in hand with Fijian soldiers and they are nothing but true professionals,” he said.

He said that as far as way ahead, US Batt would continue to strengthen and enhance the bond and the service to one mission and one goal and that was to maintain peace here in the Sinai.

Edited by Rosi Doviverata

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