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EDITORIAL: FMF Ties With UAE Armed Forces Will Enhance Military Capability

The International Defence Exhibition or Idex that started in Abu Dhabi on Sunday has attracted top military officials from across the globe including Fiji. Fiji’s delegation, on the invitation of
24 Feb 2015 10:23
EDITORIAL: FMF Ties With UAE Armed Forces Will Enhance Military Capability

The International Defence Exhibition or Idex that started in Abu Dhabi on Sunday has attracted top military officials from across the globe including Fiji.

Fiji’s delegation, on the invitation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Government, is led by the Minister for Immigration, National Security and Defence, Timoci Natuva.

It includes the Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga, his Deputy, Brigadier-General Mohammed Aziz, Director Peace Keeping Operations, Commander Humphrey Tawake, and Director Army Legal Services, Lieutenant-Colonel Pacolo Luveni.

The RFMF delegation will have bilateral meetings with a senior level delegation from the UAE Armed Forces under the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between RFMF and the UAE Armed Forces. This relationship is expected to be enhanced at this meeting.

Mr Natuva and the RFMF delegation at the show witnessed UAE Armed Forces’ latest innovations and best technologies to woo buyers from the region. Predator drones, tanks, heavy guns, armored vehicles and other military hardware are attracting military officials.

They also witnessed a live enactment of a fictional scenario in which an elite group of friendly forces liberated a port from terrorist control.

The enactment featured airdrops, low passing jet fly-bys, helicopter and naval support, gun battles and fast-moving pursuits involving tanks and armored cars, culminating in the successful liberation of the port.

The show is an eye-opener for Fiji.

UAE has a strong and sophisticated Air Force. Last year the UAE Air Force and the Egyptian Air Force carried out airstrikes in Libya against Islamist factions in Tripoli.

In September 2014, UAE Air Force aircraft joined a US-led air strikes against terrorist targets in Syria and Iraq that later became known as Operation Inherent Resolve.

These operations were suspended after a Jordanian pilot was captured by Islamic State militants in late December 2014; pending improvements in US search and rescue capabilities in the region.

The RFMF is sure to benefit a lot from its association and contacts with the UAE Armed Forces as outlined in the MOU.

For the RFMF, the signing of MOUs with other countries is all about spreading its wings. While RFMF does not have an operational air wing because of the inherent costs, it can benefit from relevant technology that could be useful in land and sea operations.

The restoration of defence ties with Australia and New Zealand means that Fiji can always call on her neighbours to provide air support.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion continues its surveillance flights across the region and Fijian territorial waters are within its radar. This arrangement enables intelligence gathering and sharing in a bid to provide security.

That is why Brigadier-General Tikoitoga has come out publicly and declared that it is a blessing that defence co-operation with Australia and New Zealand has been normalised.

This traditional support has been enhanced by closer ties with the UAE Armed Forces. Even Australia and New Zealand have increased their diplomatic and military relations with the UAE.

As a small island nation our broad international support offers not only security but new opportunites to upgrade and improve our military capability.

 

Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 




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