Monday, June 23, 2008

Brave Fijian trio take on the Taliban

Brave Fijian trio take on the Taliban

6/23/2008 - -

Three Fijians in the British Army are making a difference in Afghanistan operating in the notorious Helmand Province as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade.

According to the Captain Jim Crompton, the Media Officer for the Brigade currently deployed in the war-torn country, the three are making an impression on good soldiering work.

Private Josua Nasavu, 23, from Kadavu is on his first operational deployment in Afghanistan and is operating with Alpha Company.

He will be located at Forward Operating Base Delhi near Garmsir in Southern Helmand. The location is austere with no running water, solar water bag for showering and toilets that do no flush, and the waste has to be burnt every day.

Private George Magnus, 24, from Suva will be operating with Bravo Company at Lashkar Gah the Provincial Capital of Helmand Province.

This location is far better equipped that the Forward Operating Bases and has hot showers, toilets that flush, a restaurant for three prepared meals a day and lots of gym equipment.

Private Mosese Kurulala, 22, from Naitaisiri will be operating with Alpha Company in Southern Helmand.

Captain Crompton said the soldiers would be going on offensive operations as well as disputing the Taleban during their tour of duty.

"One of their main jobs will be to ensure security for the local people by dominating the local area and engaging in hearts and minds,'' he said. Private Kurulala said: "Working here is very demanding due to the heat and long hours, but our priority is always to support the local people by ensuring the security in the area is maintained. We patrol with lots of kit, kit we need to sustain ourselves for the duration of the patrol. We have to drink about 10 litres of water a day due to the temperature being nearly 50 degrees. All this water needs to be carried by the soldier as we do not drink the local water source when on patrol."

Private Magnus said: "Working with the other guys is great. We have lots of other Fijians in the Battalion so we are never on our own. The other guys have told us that it is extremely dangerous and you have to be switched on all the time and expect the unexpected. The welfare facilities are very good with telephones, internet access and BFBS television including Sky sports". Private Nasavu said: "I can really feel the temperature difference and the heat is unbearable by about 1pm. The environment is harsh and the ground is extremely difficult to cross and the dust gets everywhere, in your eyes, your kit and all over your equipment, but you soon learn to live with it. Everywhere you go you see signs of conflict all around you and the local people live a harsh life." Captain Crompton said: The soldiers will complete their tour of duty around October and return to Canterbury where the Battalion are based. There will be a number of home coming parades throughout Scotland and England around the end of the year. All the guys enjoy rugby, are keen to play at Battalion level and compete to as high a level as possible."

Of his family, Private Kurulala said: "I would like to say hello to my lovely mum and dad and all my family back home. A special hello to my young brother Tuivuna who is 13. Please make sure you study hard for your exam and work hard on the rugby park. See you all soon for Christmas."

Private Magnus said: "I would also like to say hello to my mum and all my family back home and I am looking forward to seeing you all in November. My only wish would be to have my father alive to see me join one of the greatest armies in the world.."

Private Nasavu said: "I would like to say hello to my lovely mother and all my family especially to my little boy Ovini Saro Nasavu who is one month old and my girlfriend Tarisi Yauviri who I miss and love very much. A special hello to my grandmother whom I will visit after my tour of duty."

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