The New Zealand (NZ) Army has announced the participation of its troops in the ongoing Exercise Cartwheel, a multinational, military-to-military training exercise held in the Nausori Highlands, Fiji.

Led by the US and Fiji, the exercise brought personnel from the NZ Army, the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), the US Army Pacific, the British Army, and the Australian Defence Force together for tactical field training.

The exercise aimed to increase the capability of troops in urban and wooded environments.

As part of the training, the soldiers conducted 81mm mortar demonstrations.

It also trained the soldiers in section attacks and ambushes, action to enemy indirect firing, and ethical decision-making.

As many as 55 combat troopers from the 1st (NZ) Brigade in Linton and Burnham took part in the exercise.

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A light infantry platoon from Delta Company, 2nd/1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR) took up reconnaissance operations, section, and platoon harbour exercise, and survival and tracking training.

Land Component commander brigadier Hugh McAslan said: “We have long-standing and close relationships with military partners in the Pacific and we really value opportunities like this one to train alongside them.

“This exercise also provides opportunities for our people to immerse themselves in Fijian culture, build strong professional and personal relationships with our Pacific military whanau, as well as train in an environment that is different to New Zealand.”

“We’re not creating the Army that existed before the pandemic, it’s about having a world-class Army that is better trained, well equipped, and fully prepared and ready for employment across the spectrum of military operations,” McAslan added.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, the NZ Army is undergoing a regeneration phase.