1990 - 1995


The Prime Minister Dr. Eddie Fenech Adami expressed his satisfaction at the good organisation of security measures taken for the summit meeting between Presidents Bush and Gorbachev. Speaking at the Armed Forces of Malta headquarters in Luqa Dr. Fenech Adami said all security operations taken for the summit were controlled by the AFM and the Police Corps, in coordination with US and Soviet officials.

A special operations centre was set up at the AFM headquarters keeping under continuous scrutiny areas affected by the summit, such as Marsaxlokk Bay and the airport, with the use of maps and monitors and the help of the Civil Aviation Department.

Dr. Fenech Adami visited the centre and also met Maltese, American and Soviet officials working together on the control of security measures. He said he was glad that no problems has arisen and added that once again Malta had shown that, although it was a small country, it had been able to cope with the organisation of the summit, which was not an easy task.

He thanked the AFM Commander Brigadier John Spiteri, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Alfred Calleja and members of the two corps for the good work they had done, something which honoured the Maltese people.


On the 24th September 1991, Brigadier John Spiteri the out going Commander of the Armed forces of Malta, and his successor Colonel Maurice E. Calleja made a courtesy call on the Prime Minister at the Auberge de Castille. Dr. Fenech Adami thanked Brigadier Spiteri for his services to the country and said he had no doubt that Colonel Calleja who took over, would efficiently carry out his duties as Commander.

Brigadier Spiteri was appointed AFM Commander in 1980 and promoted Brigadier in 1988 when the AFM and the Task Force amalgamated. Both he and Colonel Calleja were trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Colonel Calleja has been colonel since 1989 and commanded the Task force between 1987 and 1988.

Colonel Maurice E. Calleja the new commander of the AFM was appointed on the 25th September 1991. Brigadier Calleja was educated at St.Edwards College and the Royal Military of Sandhurst. He was commissioned in the Royal Malta Artillery in 1954. Served in Malta in 1955 to 1964 and attended in various courses in the United Kingdom and North Africa. He was transport Major with B.A.O.R. West Germany from 1964 to 1968. In 1970 he joined the M.L.F. as Major Company Commander and in 1972 became 2nd in Command Pioneer corps Battalion, 1980 Deputy Commander Task Force and promoted Lieutenant Colonel in 1982 and Colonel 1986, when he became Deputy Commander Task Force and Commander in 1987. He took over as Commander AFM following the retirement of Brigadier J. Spiteri in September 1991. Colonel Calleja was promoted to Brigadier.


The Armed Forces of Malta took delivery of its first fixed wing aircraft on 4th February 1992: five single-engined Cessna Bird Dog l 19 F spotters bought at a nominal price from the United States. The Cessnas were used for Coastal Patrol, search operations and for pilot training. The fixed wing aircraft augmented the AFM's five helicopters - a Jet Ranger and four Bell G2s


Long service and efficiency medals were presented to 253 officers and men of the Armed Forces of Malta by the Minister on 2nd April 1992. It was a simple ceremony held in two stages, the officers receiving their medals in the Cabinet room, other ranks at the top of the stairs after assembling in the courtyard. All had the medals handed to them except AFM Commander Brigadier Maurice E. Calleja who had the medal pinned to his chest.

Among the officers was the longest serving man in the AFM, Commander George Cini, who joined the RMA 45 years ago as a 16 year old boy. He also holds the MBE, the Coronation Medal and Good Conduct Medal. He was followed by Major Carmel Agius who joined some six months later.

The new medal is presented to all serving officers and men with over 18 years of service having a clean conduct sheet. Those with over 30 years service get medal with two clasps. A medal with one clasp is given to those having served between 25 and 30 years.


On the 9th of June 1992, the AFM received three patrol craft and two helicopters from the Italian Government, bringing the total complement of such equipment to 12 patrol boats and seven helicopters. These will be used for search and rescue operations, to provide emergency services between Malta and Gozo and to and from oil rigs off Malta as well as assist the police combat crime.


On December 1993 Brigadier Maurice Calleja resigned from Commander AFM. Colonel Claude M. Gaffiero was promoted to Brigadier and took over command of the AFM.

Brigadier Claude M. Gaffiero was born in Malta on the 11th November, 1935 and was educated at Lyceum and at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, which he joined in 1954.

On 16th July 1956 he was commissioned into the Royal Malta Artillery and following courses at schools of Artillery in England and Wales, he was posted to 1st Heavy Anti- Aircraft Regiment and employed as a Troop Subaltern at Delimara.

He served in Germany with 1st Regiment in 1962 and 1963 as Troop Commander of a Transportation Troop and during this period was promoted to Captain.

On returning to Malta he was appointed Adjutant of 11th Regiment RMA (T) which was a territorial (Reservist) Regiment. In 1996 he was again posted to Germany this time of Staff Duties at Regimental Headquarters.

In 1968 he as appointed as Aide-de-Camp to the Governor General of Malta, Sir Maurice Dorman who was then the Sovereign's representative on the Island, and was promoted to Major in 1969. Major Gaffiero continued with his duties as Aide-de-Camp until 1985 during which period he served the last two Governors-General and the first three Presidents of the Republic of Malta. On the 27th of May 1985 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, posted to the Task Force on the Commander's Staff. On 11th May 1988 after the re-amalgamation of the Task Force and the Armed Forces of Malta, he was given command of 1st Regiment, the largest unit in the Armed Forces of Malta which contained most of the combatant elements. On 1st December 1991 he was promoted to colonel and was appointed Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces of Malta on 9th March 1992.

Brigadier Claude Gaffiero is also the Commander of the St. John's Ambulance Brigade, an organisation which has been established in Malta for over 100 years and which provides a uniformed corps of 600 volunteer members who are trained for deployment on First-Aid and Rescue duties.


Four 3.7 inch H.A.A. guns were presented to Malta on the 1st of June 1992. The guns were presented as a tribute to fallen comrades, by Stanley Fraser who served with the 4th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA during the siege.

The Armed Forces of Malta Guard of Honour and Band marched on parade. Since then the guns have been on display on the parade ground, at Luqa Barracks. These are being looked after like all other Military weapons


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last modified: January 2010