News

  • RFMF ASSIST THE COMMUNITY

    By Sgt Josefa Bola

    The Republic of Fiji Military Forces had set aside Wednesday 15th December 2010 as a special day of community service.

    As a professional institute it espouses to the ideals of nurturing social obligations and responsibilities.

    This saw units and sub-units of the Land Force Command organised into teams to work in the campaign of cleaning up selected special homes and public medical centres.

    It has been tradition that such activities by the RFMF be carried out to mark events such as Trafalgar Day for the Navy, Sappers’ Day for the Engineers, and Infantry Day for infantry units such as 3FIR.

    These were the units and their areas of responsibilities: Head Quarters Land Force Command (Home of Hope – Wailoku), Navy (Saint Giles Hospital – Nauluvatu), Engineers (Makoi Health Centre – Nasinu), Third Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment (CWM Hospital – Suva), Logistics Support Unit (Old People’s Home – Samabula) and Force Training Group (Nausori Health Centre – Nausori).

    Eighteen RFMF Engineer personnel were working on repainting the Makoi Health Centre by Thursday 16th December this was after a thorough cleanup of walls, roof and surroundings the previous day.

    TUI NAMOSI LEADS RECONCILIATION TO QEB

    By Sgt Peni Waqaimoala

    Tuvasu Hall at Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua was crowded with people from the province of Namosi on the afternoon of Wednesday 15th December. They had come to seek reconciliation with Prime Minister and Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama his men and women.

    People of Namosi were led by their high chief Ratu Suliano Matanitobua to also pledge their support to the government and the efforts of the RFMF in ensuring peaceful co-existence and prosperity for Fiji.

    There were visible signs of joy and relief by the people of Namosi after the acceptance of the kamunaga by the Prime Minister which was presented by a traditional herald on behalf of the paramount chief of Namosi and the Vanua o Namosi.

    “A light has now appeared throughout the province. Today a new page in the lives of the province’s people is turned. It is certainly a very significant moment as we focus towards a better future for our beloved nation,” the chiefly herald announced in his presentation.

    “We are most grateful by the spirit in which we have been warmly received and as we return to the province we will certainly inform our people that our purpose of coming to Delainabua has been well received and accepted by the Commander and members of the RFMF,” the chiefly herald said.

    The Prime Minister and Commander RFMF said that the military has been long waiting for this day. They have been encouraged by the show of support from the high chief of Namosi, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua and his people.

    “This government is committed to improving the lives of the people of Fiji and our priority is to complete the work laid out in the People’s Charter for Change, Peace and Progress before the 2014 general election,” said the Prime Minister.

    He also added that the government was committed to transparency and accountability for the betterment of lives in Fiji.

    SELF DEFENCE FOR KIDS

    By Sgt Josefa Bola

    Children of RFMF personnel will now have something to look forward to and keep them occupied during their long break from school. The RFMF’s Unarmed Combat Academy has now for the past three weeks been conducting self-defence classes for children of ages 10 to 20 years at the Tuvasu Hall on week-days.

    On Tuesday 14th December, more than one hundred children and young adults were being given instruction in the basics of martial arts such as Hapkido and Taekwondo. The program is being run by the school’s Chief Instructor WO2 Tevita Korovou and WO1 Pita Ramasima. They have been assisted by qualified black belt instructors of the academy.

    The students have been split into two main groups. Children ages 14 years and under commence classes from 8.00 am to 10.00 am and those over 14 years hold classes from 10.00 am to mid-day.

    Master Korovou stated that it has been a big challenge for him and his team in trying to teach the young kids. “Some of these children, especially the young ones, have very short span of attention and in that short space of time we really try to deliver instructions in the best way they can absorb,” Master Korovou said. “And there are those that really do take a keen interest in the art and we see that they have grasped the basics well,” he added.

    According to Master Korovou, classes will shortly go on a brief hiatus for Christmas and New Year and will resume after that

    WO & SGT’S MESS UPGRADE COMMENCES

    By Sgt Josefa Bola

    The area within the Warrant Officers and Sergeants’ Mess is now a hard hat area and much of it is out of bound. This is because as from Monday 13th December 2010 work has begun on the much awaited upgrade of the mess buildings and facilities. Contractors have already been demolishing old structures.

    Much of the cost of the project will be met by members themselves who have been in one accord towards the vision of improving their mess.

    The idea of improving facilities for the growing number of Warrant Officers and Sergeants had been long overdue. In 2007 during the AGM (Annual General Meeting) by members, PMC (President of the Mess Committee) WO1 Seluvenusi Vutikalulu moved that a new and improved mess be built. The initial design of a two-storey building was put out but the main hurdle that hindered its implementation was cost. During the AGM of 2009, new PMC WO1 Apaitia Duabaubau moved that a new design be sort and WO2 Vilikesa Tuiteci was tasked the job of drafting it. This was the design endorsed which is now being implemented. At the AGM, members have also agreed to increase their mess subscriptions to meet the current cost.

    WO2 Tuiteci said, “The commencement of the project which will take about four months to complete had begun on Monday 13th December with the demolishing of the old structures by contractors.” He added that ground breaking ceremonies will also be held to formalise the work being done.

    IT IS THE SEASON ONCE AGAIN

    By Sgt Josefa Bola

    It is the season again where there are breakup parties everywhere to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and also the end of another year.

    On Friday 3rd December, the HQ RFMF held a family Christmas party with a difference. The revelry was held at the Suva Lawn Tennis near Albert Park attended by officers, men and women and their families.

    Entertainment was provided by the Police Dance Band. There was a ‘bouncing castle’ organised that kept the children occupied before Father Christmas came to give out their gifts.

    Also given on that day were canes honouring four retirees who have reached their RAR (Required Age of Retirement) which is 55 years in the past year or so. Among them were senior Warrant Officers and Officers. These were Captain Akuila Turaganiqali, Warrant Officer Class 1 Wailena Vugakoto, Warrant Officer Class 2 Laisenia Matai and Staff Sergeant Inoke Utoniika. Director Force Development, Lieutenant Colonel Seremaia Tuikoro who spoke during the opening address thanked spouses for their efforts in helping look after the family.

    On Saturday 4th the Service Company of the Logistic Support Unit organised a picnic at Suva Point for their families. Apart from splash in the sea there was volleyball and touch rugby for the kids and some adults to enjoy while they waited for lunch.

    THE GOING WAS TOUGH

    By Sgt Josefa Bola

    The Chief of Staff Land Forces, Lieutenant Colonel Jone Kalouniwai welcomed the returning teams and officials of the Tough Going competition at the Other Ranks’ Mess, Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Nabua on afternoon of Friday 26th November.

    Teams had earlier on been arriving at the final station at Waila after completing the course and waited to be picked up for their journey back to barracks. Despite the wet and cold condition their spirits were high as they marched from the junction at SOPAC into QEB accompanied by the RFMF Band.

    The first day of the three day Tough Going saw teams go through Obstacle Run and Shoot which began at QEB and ended at the Vatuwaqa Rifle Range. Teams were timed for the successful negotiation of obstacles at QEB and the run to the range. At the range, each team member was given several rounds to put into the target adopting various firing positions with their 5.56mm rifle and also a 9mm pistol. They were back at QEB after this and after a short break sat for a theory test.

    The heat was turned up on the second and third day as teams were sent out on a long range march one by one from early morning of Thursday 25th heading towards Tamavua, Wailoku, Colo-i-Suva and Waila. With weapons at hand, enough clothing, water and food behind their backs they treaded along the course made much harder by the prolonged rain of the past few days through built up areas, rough terrain and water crossings which really tested endurance especially when racing against time to reach the final station.

    With good navigation skills, teams were expected to arrive at some 20 or so stations setup along the route where there were activities for them to do and points taken. These activities required infantry skills, team work and good judgement which was obviously hard to do especially when you are hungry and physically exhausted from such a walk.

    At the station at Latter Day Saints School, Tamavua they were tested on first aid skills treating wounds such as stomach, chest, head and fractures. Further up, close to the Tamavua Village cemetery and Police Post they were timed in the setup of a field radio antenna and successful transmission to Zero-Alpha with their given call-signs. From there, they descended down Wailoku and into thick jungles of Colo-i-Suva where more stations were setup. On their race towards the finish line, each team pitched tents at last light and continued on their track in the morning.

    Even though teams often got onto a track that got them on a longer path, hardship and pain, no one and no team was willing to give up in spite of all the odds stacked against them.

    In his closing address at QEB, Lt Col Kalouniwai specially thanked Private Mere Vunimo for having been able to finish the course. The Tough Going awards for this year were as such:

    First Place – 3FIR1; Second Place – 3FIR2; Third Place – HQ RFMF; Best Individual – Pte Levani Tavaga (3FIR, Delta Coy, Lautoka); Female Soldier Acknowledgement – Private Mere Vunimo (HQ RFMF, Suva).

    THE TOUGH GETS GOING

    By Pte Kalaveti Diri

    Teams from units of the RFMF were at the Vatuwaqa rifle range on Friday 19 November zeroing their weapons after a long march since early morning. They were in preparation for the annual three-day inter-battalion ‘Tough Going’ competition to be held on Wednesday 24 November.

    The competition will test the level of infantry skills by teams of each unit. The teams are already bonding well and are familiarizing themselves with the course. By the look of it, each team is eager to get on with the tournament. The team to beat this year will be the Third Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment – Echo Company, the boys from the Sugar City of Lautoka have hung on to top place since 2008.

    3FIR Training Warrant Officer Class One Tomasi Kanawale, said that the name of the competition speaks for itself, that is to say, the going will be tough and punishing.

    The tournament is similar to the force skills where teams move from station to station and their time in completing certain exercises is clocked and points also taken. Some exercises involve written theory tests.

    Teams must work together using good judgments with their skills of infantry under mental and physical stress.

    “Teams representing their various units during the course of the tournament will come across, steep slippery hills, flat swampy land and rivers. In order to win, they will have to go through every obstacle as a team and the fastest team back at QEB with most points will be the winner,” the warrant officer said.

    WO1 Kanawale said that this is a good chance for those units that are more involved with clerical work to familiarize themselves with basics of soldiering and infantry skills.

    71 GRADUATES WITH BLACK BELT

    By Sgt Josefa Bola

    Seventy One students being the sixth batch of graduates of the RFMF Unarmed Combat Academy earned their black belts on Tuesday 16th November at the Tuvasu Hall, Queen Elizabeth Barracks.

    Land Force Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga was chief guest. Other guests included representatives from the Korean Embassy, Fiji Police Force, Prison Service, Fire Authority, families and friends who had gathered to witness a fine display of martial arts by the graduating class trained in over 200 techniques in Hapkido.

    The course at the academy which was established in 2007 began nine months ago with 92 participants. “Continuing students had been preparing themselves well for the pre-grading demonstrations held few days ago,” said chief instructor Tevita Korovou. “This was to gauge a candidate’s eligibility to be graded for black belt,” Master Korovou added.

    “I would like to thank the support given for the continuation of the Unarmed academy from those in leadership with the main aim of instilling an active and healthy lifestyle to the troops,” he concluded.

    The current graduates include those from Navy, Police and Prison Services. Amongst them were five females. Some had also received their black belts in Taekwondo which is also offered at the school. According to WO1 Pita Ramasima, the school’s Deputy Chief Instructor, six gold, five silver and five bronze medals were won by the school during the National Taekwondo Competitions this year.

    Also being promoted to 3rd and 4th degrees/dans in Hapkido and Taekwondo were instructors of the school some of whom had been trained in China and had performed extremely well.

    In a closing address, Lt Col Tikoitoga urged recipients that knowledge they have gained should make them humble and responsible. He cited the words of American General Brooks, “Leaders have lost the right to think of themselves.”

    35TH ANNIVERSARY FOR SAPPERS

    By Sgt Peni Waqaimoala

    RFMF Engineers and Ex-Engineers packed the machine shop shed at Nabuni to celebrate ‘Sappers’ Day’. The celebrations this year was a two-day event which was from Thursday 10th November to Friday 11th November 2010. The second day also coincided with Remembrance Day.

    It was to mark the 35th Anniversary of the establishment of the unit. The unit was established in 1975 by then Prime Minister Ratu Kamasese Mara mainly to skill youths in carpentry, block-laying and similar vocational training for national development, thus the inception of a Trade Training School.

    It is a tradition during Sappers’ Day celebration that a concoction of rum and coffee is served early in the morning. This practice traces its roots when British army engineers warmed themselves during cold mornings with hot coffee mixed with rum.

    Retired Major Semi Mocelutu who was once the Commanding Officer of the unit was the chief guest at the Friday function. Engineers are the ones who will build a bridge for friendly forces and are also the ones who will blow it up to deny it to the enemy. “Sappers would be the first soldiers in to prepare infrastructure for the main fighting force and last to leave a theatre of operation,” said the former CO.

    Major Mocelutu encouraged current RFMF Engineers to be pro-active in their work. “The peacetime role of this regiment is towards national development especially the rural areas and today we gather to remind ourselves of its importance.” said Major Mocelutu.

    He later congratulated all ‘sappers’ and wished them a merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.

    WE SHALL REMEMBER THEM

    By Sgt Peni Waqaimoala

    The newly built National War Memorial complex at Veiuto were filled with service personnel of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Fiji Police Force, Fiji Prison Service, and Ex-Servicemen, guests and families.

    The day was the Thursday 11th of November 2010, an important date in Fiji and world over where the sacrifices of servicemen and women are remembered.

    It is called Remembrance Day (Commonwealth) and Veterans Day (US) and is also identified as Poppy Day.

    IPeople would wear poppy flower selected as a symbol of the day because it grows plentifully in some of the most horrible battlefields of World War 1.

    The day celebrated the ending of resentments for the Great War, the signing of resolution, which took place on 11th November 1918 – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

    The tradition of laying wreaths on monuments, ‘grave of the unknown soldier’, began as to remember those that expired in the battlefields and bodies never returned home.

    Ex-service from all over Fiji had earlier in the morning marched from Suva Flea Market to the Civic Auditorium where they boarded buses for the Veiuto site. A two-minute moment of silence was observed on the 11th hour and wreath laying ceremony was also held.

    The participants were provided refreshments and later treated to lunch organised by the Ministry of Defence. Among the crowd were a dwindling number of World War 2 and Malayan Campaigners and a growing number of Lebanon and Sinai former peacekeepers. Also present were members of government and the Royal British Legion who are British Army veterans.

    His Excellency the President of the Republic of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau who is a former ex-serviceman himself was chief guest to the occasion. He stated that the sacrifices of those fallen for freedom must never be forgotten.

    Former Warrant Officer Class One Jope Weli said that the occasion was well organised and also echoed same sentiments that the President gave in his address. “We ought not to forget our men who served and died overseas, for they gave their life so we can be free and prosperous today,” he said. Commemorated in plagues at the National War Memorial are theatres of service and names of those that fell in them.

    These included World War 1 and 2, Malayan Campaign, United Nation Interim Forces in Lebanon, United Nations Transitional Group in Namibia, United Nations Mission in East Timor, Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, United Nations Mission in Kosovo, Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai, and United Nations Guard Contingent in Iraq.

    RFMF CELEBRATE WIN

    By Sgt Josefa Bola

    The Republic of Fiji Military Forces celebrated its win of the Ratu Sukuna Bowl at the Other Ranks’ Mess at QEB, Nabua on Monday 8th November, 2010 with feasting and dancing.

    RFMF Army side had won the main rugby match against Police 14 – 0 at the TFL National Stadium in Suva on Friday 29th November watched by thousands.

    It was also streamed live over the internet.

    Members of the force were urged to wear red bula shirts to bring back the spirit of oneness amongst the Force that reverberated at the grounds on Friday 29th November.

    The function was organised by the RFMF Sukuna Bowl committee and was an opportunity to thank efforts of all those that took part at this year’s meet especially to the main rugby team players and officials.

    Prizes were also given out to representatives of teams that were successful on the day of meet.

    The Commander RFMF and Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama was also at the event.

    PRIME MINISTER'S DIWALI MESSAGE

    By Sgt Josefa Bola

    The Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, Commodore Frank Bainimarama called a press conference at the RFMF Officers’ Mess on Tuesday 2nd November, 2010 for a message to the nation on Diwali, the Hindu festival of light to be celebrated with a public holiday on Friday 5th November.

    He said that Diwali was a significant part of our national calendar and added that the occasion was celebrated throughout Fiji by our Hindu community to signify the triumph of light over darkness, of good over evil and happiness over sorrow.

    The Prime Minister said that that the spirit of Diwali practices the goals of equality, stability and peace which break social and cultural barriers.

    The Prime Minister stated that we should work together as a sovereign nation and we should not forget that the festival of lights will remind us on our shared history and our common future.

    “We must accept and respect that there is a reason and purpose for our co-existence as a people of one nation and with one destiny,” the PM concluded.

    LOVONI PEOPLE SEEK FORGIVENESS

    By Sgt Peni Waqaimoala

    Over 80 people of Lovoni Villiage in Ovalau paid a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Barracks. The visit on Tuesday 2nd November 2010 was an important one because it was one of reconciliation and it also coincided with the 10th anniversary of the 2nd November 2000 mutiny.

    The people of Lovoni had come to present their matanigasau (forgiveness) to the Prime Minister and Commander RFMF, Commodore Frank Bainimarama for wrongs they have done in Levuka during the upheavals following the coup of May 19 2000.

    Tuvasu Hall was crowded with officers, men and women of the Republic of Fiji military Forces who had come to witness the momentous occasion by the clans of the Tui Wailevu that afternoon.

    The village herald while presenting the kamunaga (whales tooth) admitted that Lovoni was the village where most of its people had taken part in arson and causing anarchy.

    They had burnt the Levuka Masonic Lodge and had stormed PAFCO (Pacific Fishing Company Limited) complex.

    He added that the matanigasau was also a request for forgiveness for their non-supportive attitude towards the current government since 2006.

    “Our Turaga (Chief), the Tui Wailevu and his people are here this afternoon to present our words of encouragement that we are with you this day as you try to move our beautiful nation forward towards a prosperous future for the young generation,” the village spokesman said.

    After receiving the kamunaga, the Prime Minister thanked and acknowledged the spirit that the Turaga na Tui Wailevu and his people had come and that was to seek forgiveness and lend their support.

    “What happened in 2000 should not have happened and what happened in 2006 can trace its roots back to what was held in 2000 and way back in 1987.

    These should never have happened and should never happen again for the sake of our children and leaders of tomorrow,” the PM stated.

    “Today I have received your forgiveness but let us work together to built a prosperous nation for a better future,” PM concluded.

    ARMY WINS BOWL 2010

    By WSC Jokaveti Rabuku

    The grounds and pavilion at the TFL National Stadium at Laucala Bay was filled to capacity on Friday 29 October on the main clash of the Ratu Sukuna Bowl Challenge.

    This year, there was a sea of red as soldiers, families and friends came together to support the Army side against Police.

    The game saw Army winning against the law enforcers 14-0 breaking a five year drought of the prestigious wooden tanoa.

    The Army team was captained by the national rep Dale Tonawai have certainly been preparing well to meet a strong Police team led by former national sevens rep Mosese Volavola.

    In the early stages of the Sukuna Bowl battle, spectators were witness to a very strong Police team but as the minutes went by the tough form of the Army team showed up.

    In the dying minutes of the match, Police wanting to put score on the board drove hard towards the try line but to no avail as they were met by a red brick wall of the Army defense.

    The first of the only two unconverted tries of the game was scored by nippy Army No. 9, Nikola Matawalu, approximately 15 minutes into the first-half of the game. The second try was put down by Army Full-back Sakaraia Tuinabewa 30 minutes into the game.

    RFMF Commander and Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama was a happy man and so were supporters of the Army team as they know that gallant efforts of the boys in red will be rewarded with the Ratu Sukuna Bowl making its way to the QEB after being away for five long years.

    There was an after-match function held at the Tattersall’s National Gymnasium where Police, Army and supporters were treated to dinner, drinks and items organized by the joint committee.

    At a church service on Sunday 31 October, the Commander RFMF and Prime Minister praised the efforts of both teams and the camaraderie shown during and after the games.

    He hoped that this will spill-over into their different work spheres and thus positively affect the nation.

    ARMY SUKUNA LINE UP

    By Sgt Viliame Duavakacagi

    “There was a buzz of excitement at ORS Mess QEB on Wednesday 27 October 2010 when Ratu Sukuna Bowl RFMF Team Manager, Major Penioni Naliva announced the first line-up for the challenge of the prestigious tanoa.

    The boys from the Queen Elizabeth Barrack were all raring to go and well psyched-up to end the five-year drought at the TFL stadium at 4 O’clock tomorrow.

    But before the formalities of giving out the jerseys to the first line-up for the Sukuna Bowl proceeded there was a donation by the Fiji Sun the sum of forty-five thousand dollars cheque which was handed over to the Commander by Fiji Sun Executive, Peter Lomas.

    Encouraging the team yesterday the Commander of the Fiji Military Force, Commodore Frank Bainimarama said he wants a change and a better outcome this time when the eighty minutes of play will be over.

    The Joint Organising Committee Chairman, Major Tevita Daurewa promised that this year’s Ratu Sukuna Bowl will be an exciting one.

    Also present at the jersey handing out ceremony was the RFMF Band blaring out a preview of what will be expected from them at the TFL National Stadium on Friday and thus encouraging the boys who had an opportunity of watching them.

    Here is the first line up at 4pm for the main Sukuna Bowl match:

    1.Joe Dakuitoga, 2.Sireli Ledua, 3,Alefoso Yalayalayatabua, 4.Leone Nakarawa, 5.Mosese Vasutoga, 6.Jolame Bera, 7.Dale Tonawai, 8.Ilimotama Nawalu, 9.Nikola Matawalu, 10.Sete Koroilagilagi, 11.Epeli Ruivadra, 12.Sairusi Ranuku, 13.Aisake Katonibau, 14.Maikeli Vasole, 15.Sakaraia Tuinabewa, 16.Tevita Rabukawaqa, 17.Manasa Saulo, 18.Benedito Rokobaleni, 19.Sevanaia Koroi, 20.Iliesa Matanisiga, 21.Kaminieli Neiqisa, 22.Sailasa Vasua.

    ARMY DOMINATE BOXING

    By Sgt Viliame Duavakacagi

    “The Ratu Sukuna Bowl Competition programme started yesterday with Army leading the Police in the boxing competition between the two forces.

    Supporters, colleagues and fans flocked the Suva Civic Centre to witness the boxers fighting their way for a place in the final competition which is scheduled for Thursday 28th October.

    Army started to dominate the 2010 yearly competition where they won 12 of the 20 fights across the categories contested in the weeklong programme.

    Here are the results of the completed bouts:

    Light weight - Iliesa Buka (Army) lost to Metui Coriakula (Police);

    Light welterweight - Savenaca Naborisi (Army) beat Lekima Tuiviwa (Police), Netani Sepeti Qio (Army) beat Netani Naborisi (Police);

    Welterweght - Lepani Ravuseni (Army) beat Lepani Lavetia (Police), Nasoni Ligaloa (Army) beat Metui Tawatatau (Police), Jefeca Vuli (Army) lost to IsimeliCagica (Police), Eroni Ligaloa (Army) beat Samuela Foster (Police);

    Middleweight - Metuisela Rarawa (Army) (lost) to Ilaitia Pasi (Police), Sakiusa Rokodi Army lost to Alipate Tawakilai (Police), Alfred Ledua (Army) (lost) to Tomasi Doidoi (Police);

    Light heavyweight - Aminiasi Tukana (Army) beat Tevita Sete (Police), Mitieli Cama (Army) lost to Atonio Racika (Police), Jale Ma’afu (Army) beat Dauvunau Ligavatu (Police);

    Heavyweight - Suliasi Lavaki( Army) beat Daunitoko Waqa (Police),Rokoseru Uluitavuki (Army) disqualified against Ropate Tahulu (Police), Penaia Koroiratu (Army) beat Filipo Ruwai (Police), Sakiusa Masisiwa (Army) beat Setareki Tuinacewa (Police);

    Super heavyweight - Cika Mafi (Army) beat Jone Kamea (Police), Eparama Delai (Army) lost to Tevita Saini (Police), Inia Vuli (Army) beat Seremaia Coriakula (Police).

    The 3-day programme will continue at the civic centre tonight and the finals on Thursday night before the main event, 4 o’clock on Friday afternoon at the TFL National Stadium.

    FORCE SUPPORTS CANCER AWARENESS

    By Sgt Josefa Bola

    “The Prime Minister, Commander RFMF was amongst other members of the Force and the public, who turned up in large numbers with their spouses and families at the Bedesi Park beside the TFL National Stadium at Laucala at 6.00 am on Saturday 23 October.

    They had come to support efforts of the Ministry of Health, Fiji Cancer Society and sponsors in creating awareness for breast cancer which an increasing number of women now die from.

    In expressing their support for those diagnosed with breast cancer, the walkers were told to wear pink, going along with this year’s theme for breast cancer month which is ‘Think Pink’.

    According to the Cancer Society, early detection saves lives and such drives are aimed at raising level of awareness amongst people.

    After the walk from Bedesi Park to Veiuto and back, walkers participated in a dancercise session and were provided free water, medical checks and refreshments of fresh fruits.

    They were also a brief lecture and testimony on the dangers of the disease and experience of a survivor and what people could do safeguard themselves.

    SUKUNA BOWL LAUNCH IN STYLE

    By Sgt Viliame Duavakacagi

    “The Digicel sponsored Ratu Sukuna Bowl 2010 was launched in style at the Top Ground Queen Elizabeth Barracks at Nabua on Friday 22 October.

    It began with a big bang as a mock attack by soldiers of the 3FIR who under smoke and firing of blanks lifted the Tanoa from its place and ran with it to a secure location.

    The trophy was then marched back with RFMF Band leading and placed at its original position before the traditional challenge was given by SSP Unaisi Vuniwaqa for the Fiji Police Force and Brigadier General Mohammed Aziz for the RFMF.

    The Section Battle Drill may have taken guests by surprise and this certainly shows the seriousness of the Army side in breaking the five year drought of the prestigious trophy.

    A confident SSP Vuniwaqa who was undeterred by the Army side’s muscle flexing said, “We will not give the title away easily and will hold on for yet another year”. Replying to this Brig Gen Aziz said that the Sukuna Bowl will be returned to the army barracks after the match on Friday next week.

    Digicel Fiji chief executive Mr. David Butler announced his company’s commitment to supporting the Ratu Sukuna Bowl competition for the next five years. He said that his company believes in the importance of investing in the community.

    According to this year’s Ratu Sukuna Bowl organizing committee chairman, Major Tevita Daurewa, the mobile phone company sponsorship is a significant amount and includes uniforms for teams.

    FOLLOW ONE COMMAND ONLY

    By Sgt Viliame Duavakacagi

    “Follow one command and one voice only” was the words echoed by the Prime Minister of Fiji and Commander of the Fiji Military Force, Commodore Frank Bainimarama when he spoke to Warrant Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers at their mess on Thursday 21 October.

    Over two hundred WO’s and SNCO’s who are known as the backbone of the institution paraded at their mess to hear a briefing from their Commander on ongoing issues in the military and achievements by the present government.

    He began by praising members of that mess, WO’s and SNCO’s, for their support for his leadership in the military as well as the government.

    He then paid particular attention on the health issues of soldiers where he encouraged those present to live a healthy lifestyle, cutting down on yaqona drinking and watching their diet.

    This he said was what has been implemented in Sinai and was impressed by the healthy condition of soldiers when he visited there weeks ago.

    He urged soldiers there that this be continued as they get back in Fiji and appealed to WO’s and SNCO’s present to do the same.

    He then spoke on national issues stating that there has been overwhelming support for his government as he visited villages, districts and provinces. So much so is the support shown that there have been requests that this government continue beyond 2014.

    “There has improvement in roads,” as he referred to the new upgrade linking Korovou town and Queen Victoria School along the King’s Road, “this will certainly alleviate villages in the area in getting their crops to the market without enduring dusty and bumpy road condition of the past 40 years.”

    Further proof of government’s efforts on developments is the electrification in villages around Viti Levu and outer islands and the improvement in Fiji’s reserves and export/import index. Fiji he said, should strive to be self-sufficient in food and the agriculture ministry is working hard in achieving this aim.

    He also explained the advantages of establishing a land bank to lure investors who will develop vacant and arable land.

    Commodore Bainimarama in his briefing concluded by again urging the support of SNCO’s for his leadership by maintaining the institutional ethos of truthfulness, fairness and transparency, interpreted as ‘Na Dina, Dodonu kei na Savasava.’

    This was following by a question and answer session and afternoon tea hosted by WO’s and SNCO’s for the Commander and officers who also attended.

    BSP DONATE AND PROMOTE PRODUCTS

    By Sgt Josefa Bola

    The team led by Loan Officer, Mr. Seremaia Caqusau from the Bank of the South Pacific was at the RFMF Band Room on Tuesday 19 October, to donate rugby, netball and basketball balls to the Ratu Sukuna Bowl Committee.

    Receiving the donation on behalf of the committee was Captain Maku Vikila who thanked the organization for the kind donation. He said that the quality and brand new balls will certainly be utilized in the different competition games.

    Also part of the BSP team visit was the promotion of their loan facilities and insurance products. Mr. Caqusau urged newly enlisted band members to take up a new insurance policy to safeguard them and their families. Many young band members conducted face-to-face consultation with the BSP team on house, land and vehicle loan.

    LOGISTIC KEPT BUSY

    By Sgt Viliame Duavakacagi

    The RFMF Logistic Supply Unit had been busy for the past few days trying to put together luggage’s and stores for troops of the Second Chalk of Lift Four. The soldiers were headed for a one year tour of duty to Sinai with the Multinational Forces and Observers on the morning of Wednesday 20 October.

    According to WO2 Amori Leweni of the LSU Stores, the allowable personal luggage weight is 40kg per person. “Also included are supplies that will keep soldiers happy in the Egyptian desert for the coming winter, Christmas season and into the New Year,” WO2 Leweni said.

    “These supplies comprise tinned lolo and meat, mats, biscuits and a new tanoa for the boys there. Also packed and refrigerated are bags of dalo and vegetables which will certainly make our men and women feel at home and boost their morale during the Christmas and New Year celebrations,” the Warrant Officer said.

    Brigadier General Pita Driti, the Land Force Commander, was in Nadi in the mid-week to farewell the previous chalk at the Nadi International Airport.

    DEVELOPMENT TEAM FOCUS ON WINNING MENTALITY

    By Sgt Viliame Duavakacagi

    The RFMF Development Rugby team manager Captain Netani Kaukimoce has thrown down the gauntlet to his players to concentrate on the winning aspect -- rather than just participating in the upcoming Ratu Sukuna Bowl challenge on Friday 29th October.

    The development team is now in camp at Queen Elizabeth Barracks and is in top form gearing up for the annual event.

    Players selected for the squad are mainly from the Army Red and Navy team and Captain Kaukimoce said that preparation was progressing well and their aim was nothing less than a win.

    “We are confident of going out and creating a surprise as evident from the feedback from the training sessions as the boys condition themselves,” Capt Kaukimoce added.

    Capt Kaukimoce concluded that the team head coach Staff Sergeant Jope Tuikabe is giving new techniques to add the team’s arsenal in preparation for the meet against Police.

    Meanwhile, the Army over 40’s squad is keeping their fingers crossed as they will be defending the Tagicakiverata Trophy.

    The oldies were in full force as almost sixty players turned up at the QEB ground trying to prove that they still have what it takes to represent the institution in the game of rugby before they retire.

    Former Army and Suva rep, Sergeant Joeli Matanatabu said that these old guys may be crawling on the field but they will certainly be keeping the momentum going on the day.

    Sgt Matanatabu said they may be loosing power and strength with their hands and may be too weak to receive the fast ball, but their guts will never die and will live with them till the end. We wish them all the best.

    INFANTEERS CONSTRUCT OWN GARAGE

    By Sgt Viliame Duavakacagi

    Some 3rd Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment personnel had to exchange guns for hammers and saws as they embark on constructing a new mini-garage for their vehicles at their own cost and initiative without burden to the RFMF and as the RFMF Engineers’ concentrate on national development.

    Utilizing skills within the unit, a self-reliant team of five personnel commanded by Sergeant Lemeki Jilivecevece were hard at work on the construction of the project. From the laying of the foundation until the last corrugated iron goes on the roof these men can do it all. Some of the men have undergone TPAF courses such as tile-laying and other construction related course.

    “With the skills and manpower we now have within the unit we need not look further,” say Sgt Jilivecevece, “Now we are constructing our own garage for our trucks and a bus.

    Yesterday morning, Tuesday the 19th of October, a group of 3FIR personnel were tasked for one and half hour to help in hand mix of cement for the mini-garage. This they did without much sweat before proceeding for their normal duties for the day.

    Sgt Jilivecevece expressed gratitude to the unit’s command for releasing the men to give a helping hand to contribute towards the project. “Even though we may be approaching the end of the year the men’s work rate I’m glad keeps increasing,” he said.

    FORCE PTI COORDINATES BSP FUNDAY

    By Sgt Josefa Bola

    Bank of the South Pacific management, staff and families turned up in large numbers at the Yet Sen Secondary School grounds on Saturday 16th October 2010 for a Fun Day which saw instructors from the Force Physical Training Instructors wing coordinating the event with BSP organisers.

    BSP lived up to their theme of “Go Green” when the day began early with a clean-up campaign in Suva area at 7.00am. At 9.00am staff and their family had congregated at the Yet Sen grounds where fun activities for the day were prepared along with music from FM96’s Legend FM.

    The day of fun in Suva was an opportune time for management, staff and their families from various branches in the central division let off steam and get to know each other better.

    Similar activities were also organised for those in the western and northern division.

    RFMF FPTI Chief Instructor, WO1 Osea Bainitabua said that this has been the third year of the RFMF’s involvement with the banking organisation. “The two previous occasions as Colonial National Bank of Fiji and for the first time this year as Bank of the South Pacific,” WO1 Bainitabua said.

    The activities began with 45 minutes of dancercise before the participants were divided into four main groups where each group was further divided into two.

    There were eight stations of fun games where groups were given 15 minutes each to complete and scores were tallied. There were also separate games organised for children. The Red team won with the most points followed by Blue, Gold and Green.

    OVER 40 PREPARES FOR MEET

    By Sgt Josefa Bola

    The wet, muddy and slippery conditions on the afternoon of Wednesday 13th October did not deter the spirits of those ‘golden oldies’ that wanted to represent the RFMF 40 Plus Rugby Team for the Ratu Sukuna Bowl Competition on Friday 29th October at the TFL National Stadium in Suva.

    The trials match saw the combined Headquarters RFMF/Headquarters Land Forces Command/Engineers versus the combined Logistics Support Unit/Third Battalion Infantry Regiment team. The HQRFMF/HQLFC/Eng team proved too strong for the LSU/3FIR combine winning by 22 – 15.

    WO1 Josua Seduadua, the Land Forces Sergeant Major and HQRFMF/HQLFC/Eng team lock said that he still enjoys his rugby even though age is slowly catching up. He hopes that the team chosen will give the Police a good game.

    HEAVY RAIN CANCELS CELEBRATION

    By Sgt Tevita Koto

    The heavy rain experience in the Central division has forced the Organising committe of the Fiji Day celebration to cancel all Fiji Day activities in the central division including the parade.

    The continuous heavy downpour in the Central division led to flooding in parts of the greater Suva area over night.

    However celebrations scheduled for other centres will proceed as normal.

    PM URGE NATION TO CELEBRATE THE NEW VISION

    By Sgt Tevita Koto

    In his address to the nation at the opening of the Fiji Day celebration at Albert Park in Suva, the Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama urge fellow citizens to continue to participate in and become an integral part of the vision of a modern and just Fiji.

    “I urge you all to celebrate our Independence Day, celebrate the new vision,” he said.

    Commodore Bainimarama said that Independence day for any country is always of great importance as it heralds a change in guard, a manifestation of the desire of a people to stand up on their own feet. He added that it also signify maturity and a vision.

    “We have tenacity and indeed we now have a vision. A vision to modernize and liberalize. That vision has been set out in the People’s Charter for Peace, Change and Progress and which underpins the guiding principles of the Strategic Framework for Change,” said the PM.

    He added that the Strategic Framework for Change sets out the path of legal, constitutional, economic and social change for a fair, just and modern Fiji - not just for tomorrow or the next year but for the years to come.

    “We now have laws that have been modernized, bringing about gender parity and social parity. We have implemented comprehensive laws against domestic violence. We have child welfare laws which protect children against abuse.

    We are in the process of removing red tape that has led to inefficiencies and corruption. We have focused on infrastructure development and agricultural output and productivity.

    We are now providing direct assistance to the marginalized, the poor who have been neglected. We now provide tangible assistance to our school children, who are our future,” he said.

    The PM also said that what is remarkable is that the people of Fiji have shown a willingness to embrace and support these initiatives. You have shown an open mindedness.

    “What this tells us is that we are all ready to embrace changes, in particular changes that are fair and just, changes that are inclusive, changes that assist the marginalized, changes that rid the politics of old,” said the PM.

    NEW RUGBY GROUND FOR NAKELO

    By Sgt Peni Waqaimoala

    On Tuesday 5th October the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Engineers Heavy Plant Squadron had started working on leveling the Nakelo District School ground in Tailevu for the purpose of being utilized as a rugby ground.

    The school committee, teachers, students and parents that were there were proud and at the same time grateful for the hard work by the team of RFMF Engineers who were putting final touches to the project. They were surprised at the standard of work done by the heavy plant team.

    School committee manager, Mr. Aca Simolo Turagabeci Seru who is from Nauluvatu in Nakelo said that Nakelo District School was first established in 1927 in Nauluvatu Village before being moved to the current site in 1968. “I still remember very well the day that the school was relocated to its new location since I was at class eight then,” said Mr. Seru.

    Mr. Seru was very thankful to the government for their willingness to assist in the cause of improving education for the future generation.

    He added that it has been 42 years since the school’s inception that such a major development has been done. “Thank you very much,” was all the school manager could conclude in his comments towards the tremendous efforts of the team from the RFMF Engineers.

    SECURITY FORCES REHEARSE FOR NATIONAL DAY PARADE

    By Sgt Tevita Koto

    The Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Fiji Police Force and the Fiji Prison & Correctional Service have begun rehearsing for the Fiji Day celebration to be held tomorrow Thursday 7 and Friday 8th the 40th anniversary of Fiji’s independence from British Colonial rule.

    The two day celebration starts with a march through Suva City from the Flea market to Albert Park by School Children, Youth, Commercial, and Government Department reps. At the ground, guest will be entertained by various mekes and performances by various schools.

    On Friday, the parade will march on at 1030hrs and await the arrival of the Chief Guest His Excellency the President who will address the nation. Military tattoo will commence at 1645hrs includes unarmed combat skills display, log exercise, meke and band display, MOUT assault & dog display.

    SQUAD BUILDS UP FOR MEET

    By Sgt Tevita Koto

    The Army XV’s rugby team for the annual Ratu Sukuna Bowl competition has started its preparation for the meet.

    In its bid to bury the ghost of the Tanoa challenge, this year the team has started early in its quest to turn the tables this time around. The Bowl which has been evading the army for a couple of years now is the only rugby prized possession missing from its cabinet although within its reach.

    Army has successfully defended the oldest rugby prize in the country, the Escort shield which is competed for in the Suva Rugby Union. The Logistic Support Unit team also secured the Vanua Shied in the Rewa rugby union competition while Navy edge army to claim the Skaffworks trophy.

    But for rugby players in both the security forces, nothing is sweeter than to be part of the winning Rt Sukuna Bowl, as this is seen as the pinnacle of any players dream.

    For the past two weeks the army squad has been doing well whilst playing friendly matches against Naitasiri and Nadi provincial teams where the coaching panel has also begun selecting players for the right position and combination.

    Meanwhile, the over 40 rugby team will be selected from the pool of players playing every Wednesday at the QEB ground.

    CO EMPHASIZE THE NEED FOR GOOD INSTRUCTORS

    By SSgt Sailasa Saritibau

    The Commanding Officer of the Force Training Group, Lt Col Isireli Dakunamata, FIC, psc delivered the opening address for the Basic All Arms Instructors Course at ATC, Nasinu on Monday 27th September.In his speech, he emphasized on the course syllabus and stressed the need for good instructors to be available in all units to remedy the lack of basic soldiering skills.

    The course will be conducted over the period, 26th September to 3rd December 2010 which is a training duration of 10 weeks. A panel of 31 students was selected from all sub-units and individuals attending the course have qualified on the course pre-requisite namely; a RFL pass, physically fit with a GREEN grading from the recent health audit and have attended and qualified in the Junior Non Commission Officer’s Course.

    The aim of the course is to develop and reinforce into selected nominees the necessary skills, knowledge and attitude required of an instructor. The method of instruction will be presented in mental or physical skills mode. The course syllabus is as follows Communicating effectively, Shooting Coaches Technique and Leadership.

    At end of the course, trainees will be accredited as either ‘Competent’ (C) or ’Not Competent’ (NC) based on the assessment done by the instructors. Course report will be compiled to reflect each trainee’s performance and conduct during the course and certificate of participation will be awarded to trainees who successfully completed the course.

    FORCE HOST SAINT MICHAELS DAY

    By Sgt Peni Waqaimoala

    Service members of the Catholic denomination from the Prison Services, the Fiji Police Force and Republic of Fiji Military Forces including the Fiji Navy gathered in large numbers with their families, friends and faithful on the afternoon of Wednesday 29th September 2010 at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Suva to celebrate with a mass and feast the patron saint of the defence forces Michael the Archangel.

    Before the proceedings Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office and chairman of the organizing committee, Lieutenant Colonel Pio Tikoduadua thanked and welcomed those in attendance.

    A colour party parading the Fiji flag and the insignias of the four major services marched into the Sacred Heart followed by servicemen and women in uniform where they were blessed by the presiding priests Fathers Daniel Sinclair and Iosefo Ratuvere. In his message Father Sinclair stressed the importance of love and faithfulness to the call of service of maintaining order and peace.

    Major Tevita Daurewa of the RFMF Engineers and member of this year’s organizing committee said that the occasion is celebrated yearly throughout the country seeking divine wisdom and protection for another year. The tradition dates back hundreds of years where church members on September 29 acknowledge the Archangel Michael the defender of the faithful who will slay the devil once and for all.

    FAREWELL TO A GIFTED MUSICIAN

    By Sgt Peni Waqaimoala

    The Republic of Fiji Military Forces held a military funeral for 28103 Sergeant Onisimo Rokotuinasau Kanasalusalu a loyal non-commission officer and a gifted musician on Friday 24 September.

    Form a humble beginning as a bandsman he rose to the rank of sergeant before passing away after a long illness at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva on 18 September, 2010.

    All throughout his military career Sergeant Kanasalusalu remained with the RFMF Band. While with the band he specialized as a bugler and cornet player, backup vocalist and sound technician. He was also an important member of the Dance band.

    ‘Sgt Kana’ or ‘Oni’, as he was often affectionately known by friends and workmates was born on 23 October, 1965 and was educated at Rewa Secondary School. He enlisted into the RFMF on 17 May, 1988 as a Bandsman. The 45 year old SNCO had undergone courses locally and overseas.

    He had seen tours both locally and overseas with the RFMF Band. He has also served in peacekeeping duties overseas in Sinai and Iraq and is decorated with the Republic of Fiji Medal, Multinational Force & Observers Medal, United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq Medal and the General Service Medal.

    In his eulogy delivered by Captain Batikawai Wara, the Camp Commandant QEB, he said that the SNCO was a loyal and a humble soldier who had conducted his work to the best of his ability.

    Sgt Kanasalusalu is survived by his wife Mere and five children.

    Sa moce Kana, we will certainly miss you.

    CHINA's MoD VISITS QEB

    By Sgt Peni Waqaimoala

    A delegation from the Peoples Republic of China’s Ministry of Defence visited Queen’s Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua on Thursday 23rd August. The group was headed by the Deputy Chief of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of National Defence, Rear Admiral Youfei Guan.

    The Rear Admiral was accorded a Quarter Guard after which he and his entourage were greeted with a Fijian welcoming ceremony by Commander Land Forces Command, Brigadier General Pita Driti and Senior Officers on behalf of the Commander RFMF before the two exchanged gifts. In a short address, Rear Admiral Guan showed his appreciation for the hospitality shown to him and his staff.

    ARMY TO PLAY FRIENDLY AGAINST NAITASIRI

    By Sgt Tevita Koto

    The Army rugby team in preparations for the upcoming Ratu Sukuna Bowl competition will play a friendly match against the country's rugby giants and Digicel Cup holders Naitasiri at the TFL National Stadium tomorrow Saturday 18.

    Both the regular and territorial forces personnel are encouraged to attend the game to support the team in its quest to take the Tanoa away from Police who have managed to keep it for a record five years in a row.

    Meanwhile the RFMF soccer team for the same tournament will have their training at the Nabua Sanatan School Ground from Monday 20.

    TRADE TRAINEES GRADUATE

    By Sgt Josefa Bola

    Invited guests, families and friends of Trade Training School class of 1/2010 were present in large numbers at Nabuni on Thursday 9th September to witness graduates receive their certificates and prizes in a graduation parade.

    The Chief Guest and Reviewing Officer was the Commissioner Eastern Division, Lieutenant Colonel Ifereimi Vasu.

    The students who received their Trade Training Certificate of Attainment that morning were enlisted into the Republic of Fiji Military Forces on 16th April, 2009. They had undergone Basic Recruit Training at the Army Training Group at Nasinu for 12 weeks before joining the RFMF Engineers Trade Training School.

    At the Trade Training School they were taught, block-laying, plastering and carpentry courses in both theory and practical. For the first time ever graduates will be finishing from the school equipped with LTA drivers’ license and passport.

    For the practical phase of their training they were deployed to rural areas where RFMF Engineers were in construction projects. The students also participated in military duties as part of regimental obligation.

    Lt Col Vasu was then invited to review the parade by the graduating students and also give out certificates and awards. The Commanding Officer Engineer prize was awarded to Sapper Rafaele Qaqa who scored the highest marks in both theory and practical TPAF tests.

    The Best-All-Round prize was awarded to Sapper Iowane Viani who was recognized to have excelled in behaviour, general performance, discipline and passing the TPAF Trade Test. Both Sappers Qaqa and Viani hail from Vanua Levu.

    Those in attendance were also witness to Lt Col Vasu having honours of inducting into the corps of Engineers three former 3FIR members. They were Lieutenant Viliame Kolinisau, Sappers Netani Vora and Manasa Uluiviti who were given their black lanyards in exchange for red lanyards of their former Infantry corps.

    There were displays from Fiji Police Force Anti-Drug team, EOD Squad, Fiji Prison Service - Yellow Ribbon, RFMF Unarmed Combat Academy and Hardware Shop Support Squadron who were selling furniture and household utensils made from their workshops.

    LOGISTICS RETAIN TROPHY

    By Pte Kalaveti Diri

    The Paula Tadrau Memorial Trophy fought amongst Rewa Rugby club teams now once again resides at the Logistics Support Unit Headquarters in Nabua. It is the most sought after trophy within the Rewa Rugby Union.

    The LSU Army Rewa team played consistently this season thus retaining the trophy on Saturday 19th June 2010 proving too strong for the Tacilevu team from Lokia by scoring 29 – 0 in the final.

    In the second challenge of a much recent competition within the union, LSU Army had a close shave with the Natogadravu team by 5 – 3. Team captain, Lance Corporal Isireli Vakaotia said it to be a “very tough challenge.”

    Veteran work horse such as Corporal Inoke Leweni of LSU is among those playing for the LSU Army Rewa side which has significantly contributed to the union being qualified to play in the Digicel/Fairbrother Challenge for 2011.

    Back Up