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Updated: Brig Vassallo hands over to Col Martin Xuereb

Video: Mark Zammit Cordina

The AFM paraded its Colours today to bid farewell to its commander, Brigadier Carmel Vassallo, and welcome his successor, Col Martin Xuereb. He will take on the new post on Monday.

During the parade, at the AFM headquarters in Luqa barracks, Brig Vassallo inspected a Guard of Honour before the parade marched before him and Col Xuereb.

An Ensign handed the AFM Colours to Brigadier Vassallo, who passed them on to Colonel Xuereb.

Colonel Xuereb then returned the Colours to the Ensign. He then received a General Salute and inspected the parade.

An emotional Brig. Vassallo thanked all soldiers for their loyalty and reflected on his command of nearly six years.

He said that when he took over, Malta was just starting to carry the burden of immigration, a burden which had since then been largely shouldered by the AFM with regard to search, rescue, detention and security. At the same time the AFM continued to carry out important activities which were largely out of the public view.

The past six years, he said, had been characterised by change within the AFM as Malta joined the EU.

The AFM had seen change in its administration, better training, re-equipment to fit its needs, and participation in operations abroad. Soldiers had also seen an improvement in their conditions and pay.

In thanking everyone for the support and loyalty shown to him, Brig Vassallo said he hoped the same would be shown to his successor.

Col. Xuereb thanked Brig. Vassallo for his service to the AFM and his support during the transition.

“There will be challenges ahead and I need the support of everyone else, which I’m sure I will have.

“I will humbly serve Malta and hope that everyone will help me pull the same role which will not break or tangle.”

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