The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) has taken part in Exercise Coral Soldier for military skills training.

A total of 37 members of the RFMF are being hosted by Royal Australian Regiment (8/9RAR) the 8th/9th Battalion Alpha Company.

They participated with Australian infantry soldiers from the army’s 7th Combat Brigade in the exercise. It started at the urban operations facility of the Australian military base Gallipoli Barracks.

Alpha Company 8/9RAR commanding officer major Joseph Carman said that the training serial was ‘designed to foster deeper cooperation between the two nations’.

Carman said: “The teams integrated really well. We spent the week before integrating and developing those teams and the time spent in the urban operations training facility was the application of that teamwork.

“We had sections led by soldiers from Fiji and with the second-in-command (2IC) being Australian and vice versa, sections led by an A Coy soldier with the 2IC being a soldier from the RFMF.”

RFMF contingent commander captain Allan Harry said that the training helped Fiji soldiers increase their urban operations expertise.

Harry said: “My soldiers were happy to actually be walking through the facility, a training area similar to ones we could be deployed to in the future.

“They really worked well together, the Australians and the Fijians have built up better relationships as a result.”

In the next phase of the exercise, platoon-level urban operations training will be conducted at the Greenbank training area.