NATION

Full Circle Moment For RFMF Lieutenant

Helping train New Zealand officer cadets in the Fijian jungle felt like a full-circle moment for one member of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF).
18 Aug 2022 12:59
Full Circle Moment For RFMF Lieutenant
Lieutenant Joeli Logavatu. Photo: RFMF Media Cell

Helping train New Zealand officer cadets in the Fijian jungle felt like a full-circle moment for one mem­ber of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF).

Lieutenant Joeli Logavatu, 28, was an instructor on Exercise Veiliutaki, where RFMF and NZ Army soldiers used the Nau­sori Highlands to conduct integrated close-country training led by the Officer Cadet School (OCS) of New Zealand cadets.

Lieutenant Logavatu undertook the OCS course in Waiouru himself in 2015. He re­called it as being tough and struggling with the sub-zero temperatures in winter.

Re-integrating back into the RFMF after the NZ Army course was easy, he said, as the RFMF train using the Australian and New Zealand doctrine, so the skills he learned were the same as his peers.

He was delighted to learn this year’s OCS class was coming was coming to Fiji.

“We were once in their shoes and now we had the opportunity to help shape better fu­ture leaders,” he said.

Two of the New Zealand instructors on Exercise Veiliutaki had been on his OCS course as well, so Lieutenant Logavatu, who is now part of the training wing for Third Battalion (3FIR), said they had been remi­niscing.

“It brings back memories of when you were once a cadet,” he said.

He also said it was an honour to come and assist, not only for himself as an instructor, but for those coming from 3FIR who were integrated into the platoons with the New Zealand soldiers.

“With the Third Battalion personnel em­bedded in with the troops, they have the chance to learn the New Zealand way of do­ing things, which is pretty neat.”

They had a week of integration together down in Nadi, which Lieutenant Logavatu said allowed them to practice their standard operating procedures within the platoons.

“But the best part was getting to learn how we both work and how we can work together in the future,” he said.

A highlight was RFMF instructing the New Zealand cadets on survival in the Fi­jian jungle.

“We didn’t know what to expect, but the New Zealand cadets enjoyed it more than we thought they would.”

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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