Australian Defence Force engineers are working with the Royal Fijian Military Forces (RFMF) and local Fijian construction companies to build a new military training facility at Black Rock Camp in Fiji.
The Australian government is helping fund the project near Nadi and Australian Defence Force personnel are working at the site as construction advisors.
Upgrades to Black Rock Camp will provide the RFMF with improved military training, medical facilities and accommodation.
Black Rock Camp will also store supplies for humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief (HADR) requirements.
In the event of a natural disaster in the region the camp can become a staging area where military personnel from Fiji and other nations can operate from as they assist local communities.
Sergeant Christopher Renew, 19th Chief Engineer Works, said current works were in their early stages.
“[Currently we’re] involved in earth moving and basic terraforming – later on in the project, we will be building the Fijians a world class base,” Sergeant Renew said.
Last week, Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr and Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army Warrant Officer Grant McFarlane visited the camp to inspect progress first hand.
RAAF is believed to be supporting the mission, with four C-130 Hercules reported by a CONTACT fan at Nadi Airport last Sunday (three actually seen and a fourth reported by a local taxi driver).
Australia out-gunned China to be allowed to pay for the works on the base that the government hopes will become a regional hub for police and peacekeeping training as well as military pre-deployment preparation – and hopefully curtail some of China’s expansion into the region.
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