Sunday, May 6, 2012

British Army Private Ratu Manasa Silibaravi

British Army Private Ratu Manasa Silibaravi, serving with 23 Pioneer Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps, was killed in Helmand province on 4th May 2012 when enemy forces attacked his base in the northern part of Nahr-e Saraj.

Private Silibaravi deployed to Afghanistan in March as a member of an Advanced Search Team in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search Task Force. Born in Fiji, 32-year-old Private Silibaravi joined the British Army in 2002 and in 2003 he took up his post in 23 Pioneer Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps based in Bicester, Oxfordshire. During a relatively short, yet busy career in the Army, he had served in Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2006 and 2009. In 2008, he completed public duties at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, St James's Palace and the Tower of London.

A keen sportsman, Private Silibaravi was a member of the Regimental Rugby Team and was a promising candidate for the Royal Logistic Corps Rugby Team. He was a fine runner and represented the Regiment at athletics.

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Bell, Commanding Officer, Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search Task Force, described Private Silibaravi as "strong and fit" and went on to say that "he had an excellent work ethic, throwing himself wholeheartedly at every challenge. The number of operational tours that he had successfully completed is testament to his dedication and professionalism."

Warrant Officer Class One Wayne Fuller, Regimental Sergeant Major, 23 Pioneer Regiment RLC, said: "Private 'Prince' Silibaravi was a vibrant and popular member of the Regiment. A proud Fijian he was fit and brave and threw himself into all aspects of his deployment. He was a valued Advanced Search Team member; a pleasure for our NCOs to command and with his experienced manner and ability to mentor junior Soldiers, he himself was on the cusp of promotion."

Killed in the same attack was Corporal Andrew Roberts, also of 23 Pioneer Regiment.

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