This week that began on Monday 26th September 2016 is ‘Sappers’ Week’. The special week for RFMF Engineers will culminate on Friday 30th at Nabuni with ‘Sappers’ Day’ where current and ex-members of the ‘dali loaloa’ (referring to the corp of Engineer’s black lanyard) will gather to celebrate.
As tradition, Sappers’ Day usually begin at the crack of dawn with a hot brew of coffee and rum passed around to lift spirits.
The day is affectionately named after the lowest rank of the corp – as in ‘Private’ for the corp of Infantry. In some respect, a ‘Sapper’ is a specialized offensive or defensive infantry soldier or combatant. Additionally, he or she performs a range of combat engineering tasks in support of other arms of the military. These duties could be bridge-building, mine-laying or clearing, field defenses, general construction, repair, air-field and road construction, surveying and disposal of high explosive ordinances among others.
RFMF Engineers are mostly deployed to rural areas of Fiji to assist communities in need of their skills and services in the RFMF’s nation building and rehabilitation efforts. Youths enter the corp through a TTS (Trade Training School) program going away with useful skills and trade.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday 27th at Nabuni the home of the Sappers’, the Low-level Search Training Course by Engineers from the Australian Defense Force continued with their local counter-parts.
Ex-Sappers of the HQRFMF as part of their programme to commemorate the week had also been hard at work on the roof of the Commander RFMF’s office complex doing a marvelous job of cleaning and repainting.