Monday, October 27, 2008

Operation Flashpoint - Sunny Fiji - Part 5

In late 2006, a foreign power set in motion a chain of events that would have culminated in the invasion of Fiji. Codenamed Operation Flashpoint, the ADF deployed its sea-borne and air assets to positions inside Fiji waters within striking distance of the capital Suva. Additionally, elite Special Forces infiltrated the country with communications equipment and weapons.


How close did we come to being invaded? Who among us who encouraged this act of aggression against their own country?


This is a fictional account of what may have happened in the days leading up to one of the most dramatic chapters in our history.



The flight was uneventful, a couple of coke and rums and some extra peanuts. The flight wasn't full as the tensions in Fiji were being reported widely in Australia and the Government had come out with a negative travel advisory, which put the tourists off.


We knew that the travel advisory was part of the political pressure that was being applied on the Commander to back off. As soldiers we tried not to take sides and just did our job. But we had a number of friends and a great deal of respect for the boys in the FMF Barracks.


In our check-in luggage was a 3 x2 foot silver box that is used to transport equipment sensitive to exposure to light used by the film industry. It had been packed in a day earlier at Garden Island off Sydney at one of our supply facilities and contained all the inventory that we needed for out trip.


Customs was a breeze. Our cover story was that we were part of a "Defence Supplementation Staff' to provide security at the Australian Embassy on the outskirts of Suva. We were met on the tarmac by a Customs bloke along with the Australian Defence attaché.


The Customs bloke started a conversation about the Wallabies. Fijians love their rugby and it is a great way to strike up a conversation and a rapport with them.


"Hows the Wallbies going aye? Can you beat the All Blacks without Larkham"


"Big loss Larkham", Rod chipped in. " But we'll get the job done"


I couldn't tell him that I was a Broncos fan and thought rugby was boring, no, that would have been counter-productive.


The plan was for us to train and work with the Fiji Police Tactical Response Team, a newly established Rapid Reaction Force that had been established under Australian Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes, after the Fijian Govt approached the suits in Canberra. Fijian Police has traditionally not had a specialised CT or Hostage Rescue Unit, the closest being a riot squad which was more suited to crowd control and property protection…..To be cont..


Shard said...

You know something we don't aie LF?

Tui said...

Been hanging out for this....great read!

Anonymous said...

Who are you people?

Anonymous said...

Great reading, no death threats, lets kill them all anger filled rants here.

Andy said...

Cant wait for Part 6