NEWS

Ratu Inoke Explores Defence Co-operation Through Acquisition of Bushmasters in Aust

In what was described a historic moment, the Minister for Defence and National Security, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, and his Australian counterpart Marise Payne, formalised the sale of the Bushmaster Protected
08 Mar 2017 11:00
Ratu Inoke Explores Defence Co-operation Through Acquisition of Bushmasters in Aust
The Minister for Defence and National Security, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola (fourth from left), with six members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces doing Bushmaster maintenance training at Thales. Instructors were very happy with their work. Thales Australia is a defence contractor for the Australian Defence Force, based in Australia.

In what was described a historic moment, the Minister for Defence and National Security, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, and his Australian counterpart Marise Payne, formalised the sale of the Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles to support Fiji’s United Nations peacekeeping missions.

This is Ratu Inoke’s first official visit to Australia as Minister of Defence and National Security.

“The Bushmaster PMV vehicles acquisition is an initiative under the Defence Co-operation Programme under which shared experience of owning and operating the vehicles will enhance commitments,” Ratu Inoke said.

There are two reasons why the Bushmater PMVs are important to Fiji.

“Our men and women in peacekeeping missions are exposed to danger, violence and conflict and their safety, security and protection is a priority,” Ratu Inoke said.

The second purpose for procuring the Bushmaster PMVs is in contributing military assets to humanitarian emergencies to ensure that responses during natural disasters are strengthened.

Military engagement in relief activities has grown since the early 1990s.

Military resources were used in response to the impacts of Tropical Cyclone Kina in 1993, Tropical Cyclone Evan in 2012 and Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

“With an increase in the incidence of natural disasters, national militaries can be expected to play a bigger role in natural disasters particularly where the capacity of humanitarian organisations may be stretched,” Ratu Inoke said.

Australia will transport seven vehicles to the Golan Heights and three vehicles to Fiji.

It will also provide an initial spare parts package (approximately six months), PMV operator and maintainer training for RFMF personnel in Australia and assistance to Fiji to develop a maintenance programme.

The three-day official visit to Australia has also led to dialogue to boost defence co-operation between the two countries.

Source:  Ministry of Defence, National Security and Immigration

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