Pacific Scoop

Tongan PM farewells troops bound for Solomon Is tour of duty

Tongan PM farewells troops

Lord Tu'ivakano farewells Tongan troops bound for RAMSI deployment in the Solomon Islands. Photo Tongan PMO

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By a special correspondent in Nuku’alofa

The Tongan Prime Minister,  Lord Tu’ivakano, has personally farewelled 33 Tonga Defence Force soldiers embarking on a RAMSI support mission in the Solomon Islands.

“I wish you all the best in your mission, as you are good men of this nation,” Lord Tu’ivakano told the departing platoon at Fua’amotu Airport .

“You are representing His Majesty the King, and the people of Tonga.”

According to a Prime Minister’s Office media release, this will be the 10th Tongan contingent deployed as part of RAMSI (Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands RAMSI), a partnership between the Solomon Islands and 15 other Pacific countries to help bring back stability, security and prosperity to the nation.

Brigadier and PM

Brigadier-General Tau'aika 'Uta'atu and Lord Tu'ivakano. Photo: Tongan PMO

Tonga Defence Services has been providing assistance as part of RAMSI since 2004.

The Commander of the Tonga Defence Services, Brigadier-General Tau’aika ‘Uta’atu, the contingent left on Friday to Australia for four more weeks of pre-deployment training, before leaving for the Solomon Islands on March 29.

The Tongan contingent will spend four months in the Solomon Islands, taking over from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force.