August 20, 2013 –An additional 318 soldiers led by Cmdr Humphery Tawake arrived into Golan Heights in two chalks between the periods 27th – 29th July, 2013. Their arrival has boosted the number of Fijians in Golan Heights to 501 all ranks.
The troops were welcomed by the Deputy Force Commander (DFC) Brig Gen Stefan Thaller and the Commanding Officer FIJIBATT, LtCol Sitiveni Tukaituraga Qiliho.
The DFC welcomed the troops on behalf of the Force Commander and expressed his relief in the safe arrival of the Fijians. He highlighted that the additional manpower would ease the workload on the troops who were already on the ground, given that majority of the AUTCON had already withdrawn from the mission. He however emphasized that the Fijians should learn as much as they could from the few Austrians who were still in Golan. “The final AUTCON troops will be leaving for good in the next few days and I encourage you to learn as much as you can from them during the handover /takeover process,” he said.
In welcoming the troops at Camp Faouar, 1FIR Commanding Officer LtCol Qiliho reminded the troops the importance of maintaining their good health and physical fitness to produce better results while carrying out their peacekeeping tasks. “It is your individual responsibility to ensure that your good health and physical fitness is maintained and that you carry out your peacekeeping tasks painstakingly”, he said.