Minister Abela visits AFM cadets undergoing training in Ireland
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Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Carmelo Abela, met with officer cadets of the Armed Forces of Malta – who will, on the 26th of January, be commissioned at the Defence Forces Training Centre in Curragh, Ireland – along with others who commenced training in September 2016 and will graduate in January 2018.
Ireland and Malta have an ongoing relationship in the area of cadet training, with 32 Maltese officer cadets having received training in Ireland since 2009.
Minister Abela was received at the Curragh Camp by Colonel Jim Burns who, on behalf of the Brigadier General, updated him on the training being offered to the Maltese cadets. He then proceeded to the Curragh Cadet School, where he was welcomed by Lieutenant Colonel Ian Byrne, Commanding Officer.
The Minister was given a Guard of Honour by the school cadets, followed by an overview of the training offered at the camp, before being introduced to the Maltese cadets as well as the Irish members of their class. O’Cdt Shaun Ciantar delivered a short presentation outlining the Maltese perspective on the benefits of the training offered at the Irish Army’s main training school.
Minister Abela commended the officer cadets who are due to gradate next week after successfully completing the 92nd Cadet Class, and had words of encouragement for those who are about to commence the 2nd stage of training as part of the 93rd Class.
“Through this training, the AFM acquires better soldiers while Malta gets better men and women,” the Minister said. “We are grateful to Ireland for offering our young military personnel such valuable opportunities, and we look forward to exploring ways of enhancing our bilateral collaboration in this field.”
The officer cadets who will graduate next week are: O’Cdt Manwel Borg; O’Cdt Mark Philip Borg; O’Cdt Eric Bonello; O’Cdt Shaun Ciantar; O’Cdt Andre Frendo; and O’Cdt Jeremy Mangion. Those who are still undergoing training are: O’Cdt Rick Dimech; O’Cdt Kayleigh Gelfo; O’Cdt Clayton Gomez Blanco; O’Cdt Maria Gutiza; O’Cdt Christian Mifsud; O’Cdt Lindsey Pirotta; O’Cdt Keith Xuereb; and O’Cdt Mariah Zammit.
In Ireland, Minister Abela also had the opportunity to visit the Garda College, the country’s national centre for police training, development and education, situated in the town of Templemore.
He was welcomed by Chief Superintendent Margaret Nugent and Superintendent Brian Conway, who outlined the centre’s ethos and training areas, and gave him a tour of their facilities.