**REISSUE** – Minister for Defence – Australian Defence Force supports Fijian missions

Defence

AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE SUPPORTS FIJIAN MISSION IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Australia has continued to strengthen its relationship with Fiji through a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) sustainment mission that transported Fijian peacekeepers to the Middle East.

The RAAF transported 78 Republic of Fiji Military Forces 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 (UNAMI).

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 flight, 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.”

Imagery will be available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20201052

/Public Release.