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Information published by the Armed Forces of Malta Press Releases:

Press-Media & Public Information Office
Armed Forces of Malta
Luqa Barracks
Luqa VLT-2000
Malta Tel.: +356-22494020
Fax.:+356-21241001 (office hrs) & +356-21809860 (all hrs)



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31 January 2010



A 21-year old youth was last night detained by Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) personnel during a routine vehicle checkpoint conducting in the area of Gudja village.

Soldiers from 1st Regiment's 'Bravo' Company stopped the individual after he was observed slowing down his vehicle suspiciously, to throw something out from his driver's window. It resulted that the young man from Sta. Lucia had thrown out a box containing an amount of cannabis resin.

The detained youth was subsequently handed over to the Zejtun Police station authorities for further investigations.




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25 January 2010



An Italian fishing-trawler was earlier today intercepted by the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) whilst it was illegally fishing within the Maltese fishing-zone.

The AFM's Operations Centre at Luqa Barracks was alerted to the presence of
the Italian vessel whilst it was position, some 16 nautical miles in the South West of Malta.

An AFM Air Wing Islander aircraft, which was airborne at the time, immediately located the indicated Italian fishing-trawler, the ''MAMMA MARIA'', with fishing equipment deployed.

Subsequently, with very rough sea conditions underway, an AFM Maritime
Squadron vessel was deployed to the fishing-vessel's position, where the
trawler was instructed to pick-up all its deployed fishing-gear and proceed
to Grand Harbour, Valletta.

As another Maritime Squadron surface unit was also deployed to the area,
the Fisheries Department and the Valletta Police authorities were alerted as well.

Further investigations are underway.


Illegal Fishing


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15 January 2010



      Venue:  Luqa Barracks, Luqa 
      Date:  FRIDAY 15th JANUARY, 2010

1. A Change in Command ceremony in honour of the outgoing Commander, Brigadier Carmel Vassallo and the new Commander, Colonel Martin Xuereb shall be held at Luqa Barracks on Friday 15th January 2010 at 10.50hrs.  The AFM Band will accompany the parade. A Guard of Honour will be mounted at 1045hrs.  The AFM Colour and Band will be on parade. 



AFM Activity: Change in Command


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01 January 2010



Soldiers of the Armed Forces of Malta have just recently concluded their annual overseas training deployment in Italy for “cold weather” environment operations. This year’s Maltese contingent returned to the facilities operated by the 6th Alpine Regiment of the Italian Army.

The 28 soldiers were led by Lieutenant Joseph Degiorgio, and the contingent from 1 Regiment’s ‘C’ (Special Duties) Company was made of 4 Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and 23 soldiers. These included 4 sappers from 3 Regiment’s Engineer Squadron.

This year’s training is a follow-on activity to last year’s deployment held in Brunico, Trento with the same Italian Army unit. Such training is aimed at enhancing operational compatibility between the AFM and the Italian armed forces, and the inclusion of AFM sappers promotes more interoperability with other AFM sub-units.

Training was conducted primarily at San Candido in the Italian province of Bolzano. The three 8-man sections of AFM personnel operated in cold snowy conditions at a height of 1,200 metres above sea level with temperatures varying from -3° to 6° C. This exposure to higher altitudes and a cold weather environment is both demanding and useful for AFM personnel, as it offers training opportunities rarely encountered besides varied weapon training on Italian weapon systems.

At the hearth of this “cold weather” attachment with the Italian alpine troops was tuition for AFM personnel covering movement in mountainous terrain, which included avalanche-procedures, snow-hole construction and other cold-weather administration. Orienteering marches allowed the Maltese troops to be assessed in navigation and map-reading in unfamiliar wooden and mountainous territory.

Captain E. Eger of the 63rd Company from the Italian 6th Alpine Regiment coordinated the local training. Besides skiing and climbing know-how, the Italian alpine troops are also very conversant with Fighting-in-Built-Up-Areas (FIBUA) doctrine which offered the Maltese troops the chance to conduct urban and rural foot and motorised patrols under different conditions and environments in the Villa Bassa training area.


AFM Activity: Training


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01 January 2010


Soldiers end year with a bang

Soldiers from 1 Regiment of the Armed Forces of Malta, along with a number of retired army personnel, capped off the training calendar of year 2009 with a Skill-at-Arms shooting competition which was held in December at Pembroke Ranges.

The skill at arms competition's aim was to to conduct a rigorous and challenging training event, which encompasses current in-service small arms systems. The competition is designed to allow for assessment of current in-service small arms system capabilities, equipment and targetry, and training analysis of combat shooting techniques, weapon training doctrine, and small arms practices. It also encourages team effort within 1 Regiment's sub-units, and promotes fair competition whilst competing at individual and sub-unit levels.

The unit's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mario Borg said that "such training is the soldiers' bread and butter, it's what they train for. The event helped creating an enjoyable and challenging training opportunity which went well beyond just improving the Regiment's level of proficiency of its personnel's skill-at-arms."

The train-up for this shooting competition was conducted following the guidance of Major Pierre Vassallo, the Regimental training-officer, who together with the sub-units enabled all shooters to have coaches and be able to zero their individual weapons besides selecting the best team members. "The last time we had such an event was in July 1995, and it's been sorely missed over the years," said Lieutenant Matthew J. Camilleri, the lead organizer steering the range administration during the competiton. He added that "at the time when Maltese soldiers served under the British Crown, they also participated and placed in top positions at the Bisley International Shooting Competition on the heaths of Surrey in the UK. That prestigious competiton had started in 1860, setting the standards to be followed in the decades that followed around the world."

Unique to the December 2009 edition was the retired AFM personnel's team, headed by ex-AFM Commander, Brigadier Maurice Calleja. He was joined by Lieutenant Colonel Louis Sansone and other sharp-shooter Non-Commissioned Officers, whose collective and individual reputation was legend in the Regiment and had preceded them with the younger soldiers competing with them. Brigadier Carmel Vassallo also formed part of this team, given that he is due to retire from the Service in mid-January 2010.

During the Rifle Match, the AFM's AKM assault rifle was used by each firer, whilst during the Pistol Match the AFM's individual side-arm, the Beretta 92 FS, was utilised. Following these two matches, the Falling Plates Match remains the most favourite amongst all firers, as it brings out the best sharp shooting abilities of the competitors on the teams in an exciting nail-biting timed knock-out shootout to drop the maximum amount of steel plates in the allocated time. The induced stress on the firers is aimed at simulating combat conditions, often requiring them to exude an amount of energy whilst running towards their firing positions.

'B' Company received the accolade for winning overall the competition. Lieutenant Simon Titley, the 1 Regiment public realtions officer said that "all teams were fit whilst having top shots as members and the competiton was tough, especially when considering the drizzling rain during the Pistol Match. Over time, such training events worldwide have alligned their respective competitons and matches towards operational marksmanship, so as to include moving targets, night firing and fighting in built up areas. This training makes our personnel better shots and better soldiers."

  AFM Activity: Training