Multinational shoot-house exercise in Fiji’s new Blackrock Camp

United States, Fijian, New Zealand, Australian soldiers and British Gurkhas trained each other over new strategies to enter a shoot house and adequately clear a building during the urban-training phase of Exercise Cartwheel earlier this month.

CAPTION: Australian Corporal Louis Carbery, an infantry soldier with 8/9RAR, discusses how his army clears hallways and intersections at Blackrock Training Camp, Fiji, during Exercise Cartwheel. Story and photo by US Army Sergeant Brian D. Jones, 343rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment. 

The temporary shoot houses were constructed by the US Army Reserve 797th Engineers Vertical Construction Company from Guam and New Zealand soldiers.

These shoot houses were used to show the different techniques the United States and Australian Armies have developed.

The Australian Army had several personnel demonstrating their tactics of entering a building and navigating hallways during combat scenarios.

Australian Army Corporal Louis Carbery, an infantry soldier from the 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, specialising in reconnaissance, said the purpose of the activity was a training package that his unit developed that specialised in urban warfare.

“We are here to help support a little training, mainly to build relationships with the Fijian forces, United States government, British government, Royal Gurkha regiment, and New Zealand forces,” Corporal Carbery said.

Building a solid relationship with each partner nation is what the Australian Army has come here to do as their primary mission set, and it shows how much they care about their job and want to share the skills they have learned.

Captain Harrison Negrone, 8/9RAR, said, the Aussies were working with the Fijian Army, the New Zealand Army, and the United States Army, and we are building relationships and getting the opportunity to cross over and see each other’s urban drills and skills to understand and increase interoperability between the nations.

“We are happy to show the best practices they have developed to help the partner armies, and we appreciates the troops’ willingness to learn,” Captain Negrone said.

Exercise Cartwheel 2022 was developed to share best practices and build readiness through military-to-military training.

Specialist Connor MacDowell, an infantry team leader from 1st Platoon, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, said the shoot house was fantastic.

“The weather is about the same as Hawaii – a bit more humid – but it’s fun, great atmosphere, and I am feeling appreciative of the training being presented here in Fiji,” Specialist MacDowell said.

“I value how friendly the partner nations have worked alongside the different cultures.

“The Aussies are great – I love them.

“I have family from Australia, so it’s nice to be close to family again.

“The Kiwis are fantastic, and the Fijians are fun to be around,” he said.

The urban training portion of Exercise Cartwheel kicked off the bilateral military-to-military training.

Partner-nation soldiers quickly came together to start the training as a success.

Captain Negrone summed up the atmosphere as an excellent opportunity that’s been put together by all the planning teams.

“Hats off to them, it’s been great.

“I like the exercise so far, and looking forward to the rest of it.”






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Posted by Brian Hartigan

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