Australia has continued to strengthen its relationship with Fiji through two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) sustainment missions to transport Fijian peacekeepers to the Middle East.
A RAAF KC-30 carrying 170 soldiers from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) has departed for the Sinai to support their ongoing peacekeeping mission with the Multinational Force and Observers.
The RAAF also transported 78 RFMF soldiers from Nadi to Iraq earlier this month on a C-17A Globemaster III to support the rotation of Fijian forces deployed to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq.
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said Australia is proud to support Fiji’s longstanding 42 year contribution to global peacekeeping operations.
“Australia and Fiji have a strong shared history of cooperation in support of domestic, regional and global operations,” Minister Reynolds said.
“Fiji’s recent contribution of 54 personnel to Australia’s response to the bushfire emergency was a welcome and powerful example of the importance of maintaining close ties between our nations.”
In addition to the support flights, a number of other activities will be conducted with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces this year.
“Australia is working with Fiji to increase our shared capability and strengthen people-to-people relationships through the Pacific Step-up,” Minister Reynolds said.
“We remain committed to our engagement with Fiji through partnered projects such as the Blackrock Camp redevelopment and the design of the Maritime Essential Services Centre in Suva.
“Earlier this month, I attended the official handover of the newest Guardian-class Patrol Boat to Fiji, highlighting the success of the Pacific Maritime Security Program and the longevity of our relationships in the region.”