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The Fijian Navy’s hydrography and maritime surveillance functions will now be fully enhanced with the arrival of its new ship the RFNS Kacau.
The ship is the result of co-operation between the Fijian and Chinese governments as well as the Fijian Navy and People’s Liberation Army-Navy.
The RFNS Kacau was welcomed at its Suva home, the Captain Stanley Brown Naval base Sunday.
Heavy rain failed to dampen the spirits of navy officers and sailors as they celebrated the arrival of the newest addition to the navy fleet.
Chief of the Fijian Navy Captain (Navy) Humphrey Tawake said, “Today (Sunday) marks a milestone in the announcement of our maritime security campaign with the arrival of RFNS Kacau.”
He said the project was initiated by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) and the People’s Republic of China’s People’s Liberation Army-Navy, “who saw fit to donate a vessel of such a magnitude because of the role we have in Fiji not only that, but also maritime security in the region”.
RFNS Kacau is a new hydrographic vessel which Captain Tawake said would also be used for other maritime surveillance activities that the Navy saw fit.
“In the next couple of weeks, we will work with the PLA-Navy team as they arrive to conduct the sea transit and the technical aspects of the vessel so that we do not miss any issues that may hinder us in future,” he said.
Captain Tawake said it was important for Fiji Navy to ensure that the new vessel was seaworthy and met all requirements.
“A dedicated crew has been selected for the RFNS Kacau and they are undergoing training at the Naval Base in Togalevu just to refine their maritime skills before they get posted on board when the Chinese PLA naval personnel are here and we will see areas where we can enhance our skills,” he said.
The PLA-Navy team will work with the Fijian Navy for about four months.
The official handover of RFNS Kacau would be done before Christmas this year.
Meanwhile, officers and sailors in the Fijian Navy were reminded about the importance of discipline, leadership and decision making.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama gave the reminder while welcoming the month of October in a church service at the Stanley Brown Naval Base.
Bainimarama also welcomed the crew of the RFNS Kikau which returned from a refit and three-month exercise in Australia.
“I am grateful that you all preserved the status of the Fiji Navy abroad,” Bainimarama said.
“Discipline needs to be upheld. Most of the time leaders dish out decisions without fully assessing the situation.We should not make decisions in haste because it might lead to family problems.”
“Indiscipline can cause an army to collapse, but discipline will build it up.”....
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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