Wednesday, June 19, 2024

NZ Army Chief ‘humbled’ by Fiji support

NZ’s Chief of Army, Major General John Boswell has paid a visit to the Officer Cadet School (OCS) of New Zealand, who are in Fiji taking part in Exercise Veiliutaki. 

He says the support of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) while the New Zealand Defence Force was in Fiji had been “humbling”.

“We are two countries that have been through pretty tough times over the last couple of years and to have the opportunity now to re-engage, reconnect as militaries and renew our great partnership going back many years is one that’s welcomed,” Major General Boswell said.

After arriving in Fiji on an official visit on Monday, Major General Boswell said it was great to visit the Officer Cadet School (OCS) of New Zealand, who have been in Fiji since July 1 taking part in Exercise Veiliutaki.

Using the Nausori Highlands to conduct close-country training with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, 90 New Zealand Army soldiers, 72 RFMF personnel and four international students from Tonga and Fiji have been working together in fully integrated multi-national platoons.

Holding Exercise Veiliutaki in Fiji had been a real benefit to the Officer Cadets, both personally and professionally, the Chief of Army said.

“We are humbled by the way the wider RFMF, the Third Battalion of Fiji Infantry Regiment and Delta Company in particular, have supported our cadets.”

At a meeting held earlier with the RFMF Commander Land Forces Colonel Onisivoro Covunisaqa, the pair discussed opportunities going forward, which Major General Boswell said were significant.

“We’ve just had a great conversation about what the opportunities will look like, and how we can progress our relationship going forward into the future,” he said.

Colonel Covunisaqa said Fijian troops were happy to support their New Zealand friends.

“We’re glad to contribute to the development of their younger Officers,” the Colonel said.

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