In the 30-degree heat of Fijian jungle, with mosquitoes buzzing, a group of New Zealand soldiers are learning how to operate in a new environment and alongside foreign troops for the first time.
Officer Cadet School (OCS) of New Zealand students are this month taking part in Exercise Veiliutaki, which is designed to test students in command, leadership and battlecraft.
Using the Nausori Highlands to conduct close-country training with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), 90 New Zealand Army soldiers, 72 RFMF personnel and four international students from Tonga and Fiji combined into multi-national platoons.
The Officer Cadets were platoon commanders, learning how to command a group of 30 people, going through exercises such as ambushes, quick attacks, clearances and establishing a secure base (harbour).
Captain Jonty Hooson, Senior Instructor of the Field Wing at the OCS says the cadets found navigating jungle terrain for the first time challenging but worthwhile.
Commanding Officer of the Third Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Penioni Naliva, addressed the troops at the end, thanking the New Zealand Defence Force for making the exercise happen.
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