Commander 1st Division Major General Jake Ellwood said the annual, bilateral training activity aims to enhance skills in military policing, physical training, and public affairs. “Despite downsizing the exercise due to Covid-19, Coral Warrior allowed soldiers to learn from each other while building on our strong and enduring partnership with the RFMF,” he said.
Coral Warrior is one of a number of exercises held with Fiji that involves reciprocal training and exchange opportunities between the Australian Army and the RFMF in both Fiji and Australia. This year eight Australian Army members deployed to Suva, Fiji, across October and November to undertake skill sharing and integration with RFMF counterparts.
The military police program involved forensics, search techniques and investigations, whilst the fitness leadership course improved the skills of physical training instructors. The public affairs component covered photography, videography and public affairs planning.
Gaining exposure to military police capabilities
The exercise also involved an exchange to Australia with three RFMF members embedding with the 1st Military Police Battalion in Brisbane, to gain exposure to a broad range of Australian Army Military Police capabilities.
Australian Defence Advisor to Fiji Colonel Robert Haertsch said Defence welcomed the opportunity to partner with the RFMF on their home soil. “We're really fortunate to have a strong defence partnership with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces as there is so much we can learn from our South Pacific brothers and sisters in arms.”
The Fiji-based component of Exercise Coral Warrior followed an Australian-based element – Exercise Coral Soldier – in March. During this training, 37 RFMF members integrated with Brisbane’s 8th / 9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and learnt how to operate side by side. Stringent Covid-19 mitigation measures were adopted throughout Exercise Coral Warrior to ensure the health and safety of our Pacific family.