The Armed Forces of Malta information service.


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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29 March 2010


A 22-year old driver was last night detained by members of the Armed
Forces of Malta when he was found in the possession of a quantity of
cannabis leaves in his car. The young man was stopped during an AFM
vehicle check point (VCP) mounted by soldiers from 1st Regiment's 'C'
(Special Duties) Company. The bag containing the drug were found under
the passenger seat of the detained individual's car. The driver and the
accompanying three passengers were later handed over to the Police Drug
Squad for further investigations.

Following two consecutive weekends' media articles in a portion of the
local press on AFM's performance of VCPs, and whilst conducting normally
their operations, AFM soldiers have reported complaints from vehicle
drivers being stopped when passing through these routine law-enforcement
functions. As the Service endeavours to fulfill its tasks and
assignments in a professional, courtious, polite and, above all, in a
safe manner, the public is urged to continue colloborate during VCP
procedures underway. This would expedite their pursuing their journey in
a problem-free manner.



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15 March 2010


Cannabis drugs were seized last night during a vehcile check-point (VCP)
mounted on the outskirts of Zabbar by soldiers from 1 Regimet's 'B' Company.

A 33-year old Maltese man from Zebbug was detained after cannabis joints and
blocks were found in his car. The man was observed behaving apprehensively
on approaching the VCP.

The man is now assisting the Police in further investigations.

During other separate VCPs conducted in the St. Julians and Cospicua area, performed this time by members of 1st Regiment's 'C' (Special Duties) Company, more individuals were detained for a number of offences.

Two Maltese males from Zurrieq and Hamrun, respectively aged 40 and 19 were found in the possession of cannabis resin and cannabis leaves when a search was performed on their person and inside their vehicle.

During another check, three other individuals from Balzan, B'Kara, and Gzira - aged in their early 20s, were detained whilst driving under the influence of alcohol. They were further observed disposing of a sachet containing a powdered drug, and cannabis resin was also found on the person of one of the group.

Also, a 24-year Maltese female from Pembroke and her 32-year old driver from Bahar ic-Caghaq were spotted trying to evade a VCP. On being stopped, a cocaine sachet was immediately observed on the vehicle's floorboard amidst attempts by the vehicle's passenger in trying to hide it. On further investigation, another sachet was found inside the vehicle.

All detained individuals were handed over to Drug Squad police officers and District Police Station representatives who were summoned on the spot.



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07 March 2010


Joint Training between AFM Air Wing and US Navy

           The Armed Forces of Malta’s Air Wing recently hosted at their Luqa Airport base a U.S. Navy MH-60S “Knighthawk” helicopter from HSC-28 DET 1 stationed in Naples, Italy to conduct joint training..
            The exercise featured numerous group lectures in subjects such as instrument flying, ship board flight operations, search and rescue procedures, and maintenance practices designed to increase interoperability and safety. The Air Wing’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Claudio Spiteri stated “We’re very happy to start the year training with other professional forces that are called upon to perform in similar roles.” He continued to add “that such training is a good lead in to future joint operations between the Air Wing and US forces.”

            While no flight operations were conducted by the AFM, Maltese air crews were exposed to various methods of accomplishing the various tasks that helicopters are called upon to perform in a safe and efficient manner.  Independent of the AFM, the U.S. Navy team flew a one hour training flight to practice air traffic control (ATC) communications and procedures with the controllers from Malta Air Traffic Services (MATS). 

U.S. Ambassador Douglas Kmiec recognized the successful partnership between Malta and the United States, and praised the AFM’s leadership role in organizing maritime training programs for the entire Mediterranean region at the AFM’s Maritime Safety and Security Training Center at Safi Barracks.  “I know the safety and security of the Mediterranean is a shared and primary concern of the United States and Malta.  This sophisticated training by the very best of the U.S. Navy is reserved for nations in which the U. S. has special confidence and with which we have an abiding friendship.  Malta ranks highly on both counts.” 

            Last year the AFM’s Air Wing carried out over 1,300 flights and was called upon to perform 31rescues both locally and from vessels offshore.

The U.S. Navy MH-60S “Knighthawk” helicopter from HSC-28 DET 1 from Naples. - (PIC BY AFM AIR WING)

  Drugs & Weapons


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07 March 2010


Fisherman succesfully evacuated to hospital

After last night's failed attempts to medically evacuate an injured
fisherman off the Italian-registered fishing boat "Oceania", the
locally-based Italian Air Force (AMI) AB212 rescue-helicopter earlier
this morning successfully managed to carry out his transfer to hospital.

The casualty, 35-year old Tunisian fisherman Krife Mohammed, had
yesterday sustained a fall onboard the "Oceania", which caused an
unspecified trauma that left him unconscious and bleeding from his
mouth. After sunset's severe weather in a position 78 nautical miles
(NM) from Malta impeded the casualty's medical transfer (MEDEVAC) by the
Italo-Maltese crewed rescue helicopter, the "Oceania" was diverted
towards the island of Lampedusa from where an Italian patrolboat with a
doctor onboard was being dispatched at speed.

The severity of the easterly Force 6 weather at around 01.00hrs also
impeded the Italian patrolboat from successfully reaching the
fishing-vessel. By 0200hrs, the casualty's condition had worsened, and
the "Oceania" was again rediverted towards Malta. At around 06.30hrs
earlier this morning, the Tunisian fisherman was successfully
transferred by the from 6 NM off the west coast of Mellieha to Mater Dei

  Health-Related: Marine


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06 March 2010


PRESS RELEASE - Inclement weather aborts medical evacuation

A severe swell and lack of maneuverability obliged the cancellation of
an attempted medical evacuation byan Italian Air Force AB 212
helicopter of a fishing-vessel's crew-member.

Earlier this afternoon, the rescue authorities at MRCC Rome informed the
Armed Forces of Malta's Operations Centre (RCC Malta) at Luqa Barracks,
that the Italian registered fishing vessel 'Oceania' required the urgent
medical evacuation to hospital of one of its crewmen. He had sustained
an unspecified trauma following a fall, and then lapsed into
unconsciousness with blood coming out of his mouth.

The locally-based Italian Air Force AB212 rescue helicopter crewed by an
Italo-Maltese crew was immediately scrambled to the vessel's position,
some 95 nautical miles south-west of Malta, with an AFM medical officer
onboard as the fishermen were instructed to divert their course towards

With very rough seas and as visibility was diminishing with sunset,
three unsuccessful attempts were made to lower an AFM Air Wing rescuer
onto the fishing-vessel's aft and forward sections as it pitched and
rolled under a moonless sky. The weather's severity then also further
obliged aborting the fisherman's evacuation.

In the meantime the F/V OCEANIA had approached to 78 NM from Malta, but
subsequently, it was diverted westwards as RCC Malta co-ordinated the
dispatch of an Italian patrol boat from Lampedusa with a medical officer
onboard to assess the casualty's situation.

  Health-Related: Marine


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01 March 2010



Eight (8) individuals were, over this last weekend, detained by Armed Forces
of Malta personnel during vehicle check-points mounted by 4th Regiment's
Training School cadre.

The individuals detained by the AFM soldiers were found in possession of
drugs and weapons.

Two Maltese male nationals, a 27-year old and 24-year old, were found in the
Birzebbugia area on Saturday driving without a valid driving license and
vehicle insurance cover. Whilst also in the same area, a male Somali
national was found in possession of 3 knives in his vehicle's glove

Later that same evening, another three (3) Maltese male nationals were found
in the vicinity of Cospicua without a valid driving licence and vehicle
insurance cover.

On Sunday, the same 4th Regiment personnel detained in the Rabat area two
Maltese male nationals of 24 and 27 years of age, after they were found in
possession of a powdered illegal narcotic.

All detained individuals were handed over to the Malta Police authorities
for further investigations.

  Drugs & Weapons