The New Zealand Defense Force Training Team is currently in Fiji where they share skills and experience with the RFMF, the Fiji Navy, and the Ministry of Defense and National Security.
New Zealand’s Defense Adviser Lt. Col. Josh Wineera said it was not defense engagement that brought the contingent to Fiji, but trust between the two countries’ health protocols that formed the basis that led them to take the team.
He said they could speak to the Fiji Ministry of Health and reassure them that New Zealand protocols meet standards so that carrying their team will be safe for Fijians.
Meanwhile, Contingent Commander Lt. Col. John Barclay said the Fiji Military had an extraordinary experience in operations where the New Zealand Defense Forces had experience with the technical aspects where the two forces could learn from each other.
He said that even though they were here to provide some training, they were also being trained.
Barclay said that this is just a continuation of the development of relations and relations between the two countries that share and grow.
He added Fijian soldiers and sailors who had gone to New Zealand for training had also spent some time with their units while New Zealand soldiers had also come to Fiji.
Kate Bocock, senior adviser at New Zealand’s Ministry of Defense said she had provided some advice to the Fiji Ministry of Defense on a policy they were working on which included a human trafficking strategy they were developing and would also develop. about peacekeeping policies.
He said peacekeeping policies would see the development of multiple coherent shared visions on peacekeeping.
New Zealand’s High Commissioner for Fiji, Jonathan Curr said that the relationships they need are seeking to be fostered important at ministerial and other levels including at the military level.
He said the contingent members were here as defense diplomats and not just military specialists and added that the relationship they built will be remembered long after they left.
The RFMF commander, Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto said the reason the two countries are doing this is because we are friends and family.
He added that they are honored to have a contingent present in Fiji at this time, especially as COVID-19 cases are increasing in many countries.
The 16-member contingent arrived on the 24th of last month, spent 2 weeks in quarantine and will remain in the country for another month.
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