The New Zealand Defence Force is mentoring Fiji Peacekeeping School personnel, who are training about 150 troops due to be posted as peacekeepers in the Middle East.
The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) trainees will be serving in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, which was established in 1974 to maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria and supervise the areas of separation and limitation between the two countries
Lieutenant Colonel Peter Curran, the Commanding Officer of the New Zealand Collective Training Centre, said two NZDF mentors were helping the RFMF Peacekeeping School prepare troops bound for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights.
“The exercise is part of a six-week programme to prepare the troops for the complex environment where they will be operating,” Lieutenant Colonel Curran said.
One of the NZDF mentors, Warrant Officer Class 2 Daymon Wickens, said the training scenarios were made as realistic as possible to ensure troops had a smooth transition when they arrived in theatre.
His fellow mentor, Staff Sergeant Scott Race, said the activity provided an opportunity for NZDF to pass on some of the lessons learnt from New Zealand’s experience on peacekeeping missions and its own pre-deployment training processes.
Lieutenant Colonel Curran said that through a series of activities under the Mutual Assistance Programme between the two militaries, the NZDF had been providing the RFMF’s Peacekeeping School mentor support in the close-combat shooting, tactical trauma care, mission appreciation planning and counter-improvised explosive device training since late 2016.
The NZDF has also assisted the Fiji military in updating its pre-deployment training programme.