The Fiji Defence Force (FDF) was first established in 1920, under New Zealand admnistration. After World War Two spread to the Pacific region, the United States trained Fijian soldiers. In 1942 the FDF became known as the Fiji Military Forces (FMF). Units of the FMF subsequently saw action in the Solomon Islands campaign and served with great distinction.
Fiji gained independence in 1970 but the FMF remained a land-based force. In 1973 the prefix ‘Royal’ was granted by the Queen, changing the title to Royal Fiji Military Forces (RFMF). In 1975 a Fijian Navy was established. Fijian troops contributed significantly to the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon – UNIFIL – from 1978 onwards. A civilian Boeing 707 was leased in August 1979 to transport troops to Lebanon from Fiji. It operated with Royal Fiji Military Forces titles, but had to be withdrawn from use after a couple of months due to engine trouble.
In 1987 a second military coup by the RFMF deposed the existing government. A republic was declared and the country was expelled from the Commonwealth. The name was changed to Republic of Fiji Military Forces, retaining the same acronym RFMF.
An Air Wing for the RFMF was established in 1987, with the promise of the donation of two helicopters from France. The first helicopter arrived in Fiji late the following year. The RFMF Air Wing was often simply called the Fiji Air Wing. Both helicopters were ill-used and one was lost to a in-flight fire in 1994. The surviving helicopter was sold at the end of 1997 and the Air Wing disbanded.
In 1997, Fiji was able to return to the Commonwealth and the ‘R’ was dropped altogether from RFMF, the armed forces simply being called the Fiji Military Forces. However, in the continuing political turmoil since 1997, it seems that at some date the armed forces again readopted the title Republic of Fiji Military Forces.
||Fiji Defence Force first established.
||FDF renamed Fiji Military Forces.
||FMF renamed Royal Fiji Military Forces.
||Fiji Air Wing formally established.
||RFMF renamed Republic of Fiji Military Forces.
||First RFMF helicopter arrives.
||Air Wing disbanded.
||RFMF renamed Fiji Military Forces.
||FMF renamed Republic of Fiji Military Forces.
The Air Wing was disbanded in 1997.
No plans known.
RFMF aircraft are reported to have carried the national flag as a fin flash. It not known if any service titles were carried.
Aircraft Serial Numbers
Aircraft operating with the RFMF carried Fijian civil registrations in the DQ-FGx range reserved for government aircraft, e.g. Ecureuil 2 DQ-FGH.
Coding system not used.
None – Manufacturers designations used
Current Aircraft Inventory
All-Time Aircraft Used List
Aircraft NOT Used
Several websites mention the use of a “Harbin Y-11” by Republic of Fiji Military Forces. The Y-11 was never used outside of China. These reports probably arise from confusion the the Y-12s operated by Air Fiji. Air Fiji ceased operations in 2009.
Aircraft Losses and Incidents
See individual aircraft types.
Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Strategic Command, Maddocks Road, Suva City, Fiji.
No subordinate units.
Current Unit Assignments
No subordinate units.
Historical Unit Assignments
All-Time Flying Units List
Current Air Bases
All-Time Air Bases Used List
The helicopters were based at Nausori International Airport, Suva.
To be added
wikipedia: Republic of Fiji Military Forces
RFMF Official website
Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.