The Australian Defence Force (ADF) completed its latest round of regional engagement in the Southwest Pacific with a week-long visit to Fiji.
A Joint Task Group of ADF personnel, supported by HMA Ships Adelaide and Larrakia, conducted a series of activities with the Fijian military and communities in Suva, as part of the ADF’s ongoing contribution to the Australian Government’s Pacific Step-up.
Commander of Joint Task Force 637, Major General Justin Ellwood said this most recent engagement with Fiji reflected the enduring and multifaceted relationship between our two nations.
“Our latest visit continues to build upon an extensive partnering program already established between the ADF and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF),” Major General Ellwood said.
“This program includes a variety of engagements, from joint training exercises through to cultural and community activities.”
With an emphasis on further developing greater interoperability, the Task Group conducted amphibious exercises with the RFMF, focussing on surface and air operations.
HMAS Adelaide also hosted a church service for 450 people and an evening reception for 350 guests.
Approximately 200 Defence personnel joined locals at the annual Sukuna Bowl Rugby match between the RFMF and the Fiji Police Force, which was won by the RFMF.
The deployment underpinned a busy year for both nations, which also saw airlift support provided to RFMF peacekeeping operations in the Sinai, Golan Heights and Iraq.
Australia will continue to develop training and engagement opportunities in consultation with the Fijian Government.