NEWS

Fijian Defence Force To Enhance Capabilities With Help From The United States Army

Major-General Johnson commended Fiji’s continued support and participation in many venues across the region and appreciated Fiji’s area of focus and priorities in the areas of defence.
03 Apr 2019 19:02
Fijian Defence Force To Enhance Capabilities With Help From The United States Army
From left- Maj. James Lax, Maj. Eria Davis, Maj. Gen. John Johnson, Pt. Ryan Bruan and SSG. Reaven Miranda at US Embassy in Suva on April, 2019. Photo: Ilaitia Ravuwai.

At least 150 soldiers will participate in an exercise known as the “Pacific Pathways” that will directly enhance the capabilities of the Fijian Defence Force.

This was confirmed by the Deputy Commanding General South United States Army Pacific Command, Major General John P Johnson, at a press briefing earlier.

The exercise aims to strengthen both the Fijian Defence Force and United States Army.

“The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) will train the United States Army in jungle warfare while we will offer training in urban environment as it is in the interest of the Fijian Army,” Major General Johnson said.

“This is how we will greatly benefit from each other and this is a great opportunity for our soldiers to better understand even the cultures not only here in Fiji, but the cultures reflected in other Pacific Island nations.”

Major-General Johnson commended Fiji’s continued support and participation in many venues across the region and appreciated Fiji’s area of focus and priorities in the areas of defence.

National security

Major General Johnson said they also discussed the tragic events that happened last month in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“One of the leaders asked me about what had happened in Christchurch and I can see that it is resonating in people’s mind,” he said.

“However, we are ready to provide the support where we can. We do have the strengths, but as I said, so does Fiji and we look forward to achieving mutually beneficial outcomes when we engage.”

Our partners

Major General Johnson assured that this was an important time for Fiji and would do anything they could in the area of defence.

“We work very closely not only with Fiji, but with Australia, New Zealand and France in the Pacific region because of their presence here.

“But we got a great history with Fiji because of the great level of engagement with them and look forward to offering a positive role where we can,” Major General Johnson added.

Peacekeeping

Major General Johnson also commended Fiji’s participation in peacekeeping missions.

“Peacekeeping is very important to Fiji and they have a long and distinguished history of supporting the United Nations Missions around the world.

“One of the peacekeeping missions that we directly partnered is in Sinai. So as I said, we have a long history of working with Fiji not only in the region, but abroad as well.”

Focus Areas

· Continued patrol of Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone

· Defence training for soldiers, non-commissioned officers and leaders

· Peacekeeping missions

· Collaboration with Pacific partners

· National security

The United States Army is looking for meaningful ways in engaging with the region and understanding their perspective.

· Understanding what its partners need

· What is in their best interest

· What they are looking for and

· Working in collaborations with its partners (Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and France)

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