RFMF joins military exercise

HUMANITARIAN Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations were the top fo­cus at Exercise Croix du Sud in New Caledonia that ended last week.

Forty-two Republic of Fiji Mili­tary Forces soldiers and sailors took part in the exercise.

A release about the exercise said that Ex CDS18 is designed to ensure that all involved are prepared for major Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) opera­tions. The scenario called for mili­tary assistance including a non-combatant evacuation operation followed by stability and security operations.

The French-led exercise is the largest HADR training exercise in the South Pacific.

This military exercise is held eve­ry two years in New Caledonia, its surrounding waters and airspace.

Fiji Navy Lieutenant Commander Timoci Natuva (Junior) said 22 sail­ors on board the navy patrol boat Kula were part of the sea exercise.

Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) spokesperson Captain Ero­ni Duaibe said 22 soldiers were part of the land exercise.

The Fijian Navy vessel Kula. (Photo: Fiji Navy)
The Fijian Navy vessel Kula. (Photo: Fiji Navy)

He said while the sailors would re­turn on board the Kula the soldiers would return by air to Nadi.

Ex CDS18 included troop contribu­tions from France (New Caledonia), Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Chile, United States and Vanuatu. Led by the French Armed Forces of New Cal­edonia (FANC), the exercise is held every two years as part of France’s engagement in the region.