Lieutenant Colonel Avinesh Kumar successfully completed his tenure and proudly handed over the Commanding role to Lt Col Maika Baleinaloto during the handover parade on May, 16th 2017.
The outgoing Commanding Officer of the 35th Fiji Contingent of the Second Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment took over the appointment from Lt Col P. Talemaivatuwiri on May, 17th 2016. His tenure as the Commanding Officer commenced while the Second Battalion was still based in El Gorah (North Camp) undertaking the mission’s tasks within the Northern Area of Operations of the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai Peninsula.
The Force Commander, Major General Simon Stuart who reviewed the handover parade expressed his appreciation on the achievement of the 35th Fiji Contingent. “The contribution of the Fijian Contingent in the planning, execution and re-posturing of FOB-N (North Camp) and South Camp, was not only evidence of the efforts of the troops, but also the leadership of the leaders in the contingent. In particular, LTCOL Kumar,” he said
Maj. Gen. Stuart told the Fijian Peacekeepers on parade that it was important for them to know that Lt Col Kumar had represented them confidently as the Commanding Officer. “He represented you, his officers and soldiers faithfully and when necessary, forcefully. You should know this. His professional and flexible style of leadership was a major contributor in the successes of the battalion over the last year. I thank him on your behalf and on behalf of the MFO,” he said.
Lt Col Kumar stated that being appointed by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces in 2016 as the Commanding Officer for the Second Battalion was a great challenge. “It was a great challenge to be given the opportunity to command a battalion especially for 2FIR the longest peacekeeping battalion for RFMF,” he said. He added that was privileged and honored to be given this opportunity and he decided that whatever he had to do throughout the deployment, he must always try to do his best for the RFMF and Fiji.
The final batch of Fijibatt 35 personnel departed Sharm El Sheik International Airport on Tuesday May, 23rd 2017 with their Commanding Officer, Lt Col Kumar.