C-27 aircraft boosts Fiji’s surveillance capabilities

February 22, 2024 2:03 pm

Fiji’s capabilities to tackle the concerning trend of illegal narcotics has received a boost following the arrival of Australian C27 aircraft.

Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua says Fiji and Australia are working together to build Pacific resilience to traditional and nontraditional security threats.

Tikoduadua says an Australian team will be deployed to Fiji on an ongoing basis for two out of every eight weeks.

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He has welcomed the continued partnership between the two countries in areas of national interest, which include illegal narcotics.

“Already this year, we are reminded of the growing threats of extreme weather and floods, as well as the growing trend of illicit narcotics. We must work together if we are to tackle the challenges facing our nation.”

Tikoduaudua says the arrival of the Australian C27 aircraft is a testament to the strong Vuvale Partnership between Fiji and Australia.

Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, Ewen McDonald, says that through the aircraft, the surveillance of Fiji’s border will be strengthened.

“So obviously, the aircraft can head around into places that other aircraft can’t in terms of its ability to land as well as survey across Fiji’s waters. So again, it’s the priorities of the Fiji government and its people to have surveillance around illegal fishing, or, of course, the transnational crime that’s been reported here in recent days around illicit drug trafficking and the like.”

McDonald adds that the aircraft will be based in Nausori and will go around on the priorities of the government.

He adds the cost of the pilot, and the maintenance will be covered by the Australian Government.