NATION

New Brigadier-General Eyes Evolving Roles Of RFMF

Brigadier-General Kalouniwai hopes to break down the walls within the RFMF and provide for a better platform for more engagement with the people, civil society and Government agencies.
19 Sep 2021 12:00
New Brigadier-General Eyes Evolving Roles Of RFMF
Incoming Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander Brigadier-General Ro Jone Kalouniwai. Photo: Leon Lord

New Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) Commander, Brigadier-General Ro Jone Kalouniwai, believes that the institution has to evolve from its traditional roles.

The RFMF is one of the biggest assets the nation has and much of it has been proven during the past two years as soldiers have been the work horses of much of the COVID-19 operations.

Brigadier-General Kalouniwai said he was tongue tied when he was informed of his appointment by the Constitutional Offices Commission.

He said congratulatory messages have since been pouring in indicating what the expectations were not only from the Government, but from the people of Fiji as well.

Expectations moving forward

“I guess that this is the expectation from the people out there in terms of moving the RFMF forward; in terms of the institution itself and how the Government likes to see it to evolve and the expectation from the society,” said Brigadier-General Kalouniwai.

“That is the challenging part in the role that I play and in bringing out something good for the nation. It basically goes back to the role of the RFMF and its constitutional mandate; the wellbeing of Fiji, Fijians and people as a whole.”

Brigadier-General Kalouniwai said the direction of the RFMF became clearer when he was appointed to be the Director-General of the National Security and Defence Secretariat.

“I was quite fortunate to be part of the national security strategy because the requirement from the Government was to set up a whole of Government, whole of society approach towards security,” he said.

“It is not the traditional security, but the non-traditional security which takes into consideration the work that has been during COVID-19.

“It tells me that RFMF will be involved in so many other emergency cases that will be coming in the future.

“For that to be part of my situational awareness of what the future of the RFMF is going to be like required me to raise the RFMF to be a very capable organisation that can respond to these emergency issues.”

Providing a bigger picture

Brigadier-General Kalouniwai said one of his priorities was to get a heads up on what was happening within the RFMF and provide a bigger picture of what was happening in terms of traditional and non-traditional to all personnel.

He said there was a need to look at security in a very holistic approach.

Brigadier-General Kalouniwai hopes to break down the walls within the RFMF and provide for a better platform for more engagement with the people, civil society and Government agencies.

He said the COVID-19 situation provided a glimpse of what the future could hold for the RFMF and where it could better engage.

He said provided budgetary backing, the RFMF would continue its recruitment. The RFMF has been the first choice of employment for many youths.

Brigadier-General Kalouniwai is now at the helm of the biggest defence force in the Pacific outside of Australia.

He is very much aware what the future direction of the RFMF should be and according to him it has to change with the ongoing conditions in the future.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj



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