Mortar demonstrations were held in Fiji, involving forces from five nations.
The tactical field exercise called Exercise Cartwheel was a US-Fiji-led multinational exercise conducted in the Nausori Highlands.
It involved defense personnel from the Armed Forces of the Republic of Fiji, United States Army Pacific, New Zealand Defense Force, British Army and Australian Defense Force.
The exercise is designed to improve skills in both urban and jungle environments.
The training also included demonstrations of continuous machine gun fire, sector attacks and ambushes, responding to enemy indirect fire, and ethical decision-making scenarios.
TVNZ reported that Major Atonia Nagauna of the Fiji Infantry Regiment, Third Battalion said the Pacific nations face challenges that require collective action.
“When I talk about threats, I’m talking about natural disasters, I’m talking about illegal fishing, I’m talking about other traditional non-state actors trying to destabilize this part of the world.
“We work together so we don’t feel like we’re alone, and they treat us as equal partners in the process, too,” he said.
The exercise brings together the same allies who fought side-by-side in the Solomon Islands during World War II.
Building long-lasting relationships in the Pacific
The New Zealand Defense Force said a total of 55 combat soldiers from the 1st (NZ) Brigade took part in the exercise.
A Delta Company light infantry platoon, 2nd/1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR) also conducted reconnaissance operations, section and trainport exercises, survival and pursuit training.
New Zealand’s commander of land components, Brigadier Hugh McAslan, said New Zealand enjoys longstanding relationships with its military partners in the Pacific and appreciates the opportunities to train alongside them.
“This exercise also provides our personnel with an opportunity to immerse themselves in Fijian culture, form strong professional and personal relationships with our Pacific Military Whanau, and train in an environment that is distinct from New Zealand,” he said.
“We use every opportunity to learn from each other. These skills and relationships, paired with professionalism, create the conditions for a bright future for our region.”