NATION

162 RFMF Soldiers Serving In Sinai To Arrive On Saturday

All steps are being taken by the Australian and Fiji governments, and the Multinational Force and Observer mission to minimise their exposure and risk.
25 Jun 2020 18:54
162 RFMF Soldiers Serving In Sinai To Arrive On Saturday
Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto.

On Saturday 27 June 2020, 162 (one hundred and sixty-two) soldiers of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces serving with the Multinational Force and Observer mission in Sinai, Egypt will be arriving in Fiji.

These soldiers have been in the mission area for one year and four months in what was supposed to be a 12-month deployment.

The initial flights to repatriate and change these personnel were conducted in late March but as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions imposed globally by national governments, including the Government of Egypt, the rotation did not take place and the soldiers deploying to replace those in the mission areas had to return to Fiji after a refueling stop in the Maldives.

Recently, local Egyptian staff working in South Camp, the Multinational Force and Observer missions Force Headquarters, have tested positive to the Corona Virus after routine tests were conducted in South Camp.

This resulted in further delays to their repatriation in order for the MFO and Fiji to prepare well for the return of the 162 personnel in accordance with COVID 19 containment protocols. Fiji Government has decided to repatriate its troops in consultation with the RFMF and the Ministry of Health.

As with any military deployment and military service, there are inherent risks involved with the troop’s service and deployment.

The RFMF is mitigating these risks through the application of proper COVID-19 applicable protocols, in consultation and in conjunction with the Ministry of Health.

All incoming troops will be quarantined in a Ministry of Health designated quarantine facility in Nadi in accordance with the COVID 19 Containment protocol dictated by the Ministry of Health.

The Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto wishes to express the RFMF and Fiji’s gratitude to the government of Australia, and the Australian Defence Force, for its continued support of Fiji’s troop rotations.

The Australian flight crew, like Fiji’s troops, will be exposed to the same risks from COVID 19 during the movement of troops and while on the ground in Sinai, Egypt.

All steps are being taken by the Australian and Fiji governments, and the Multinational Force and Observer mission to minimise their exposure and risk.

Admiral Naupoto asks the Fiji public for its support, understanding, and prayers during this troop rotation.

Like everyone else in Fiji, and the world, the RFMF is learning and adapting to the new normal to ensure its personnel are safe and back home safe, after an extended tour of
duty.

We are grateful to the effort of all stakeholders in facilitating this rotation and it is wonderful feeling to know that we are able to reunite these 162 RFMF personnel with their families after 14 months and in this COVID 19 restricted environment.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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