The US has provided Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) equipment and training to the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.
According to Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Rebeca Owen, the donation is part of the US Army’s ongoing partnership with Fiji and its commitment to supporting the security of countries in the Pacific.
Worth 1 million Fijian dollars ($527,000), the donation includes modern EOD equipment such as bomb suits, metal detectors, disruptors, handheld entry kits, and blasting machines.
US EOD tech Sergeant First Class Frederick Fries and Sergeant Jacob Rooney said they spent five days familiarizing 11 Fiji soldiers with the newly-donated equipment.
The 11 trained personnel will then train other soldiers to use the detectors, blasters, and other equipment.
“This is what a shared partnership is all about, we are both teaching and learning from one another,” Fries said.
“We may know how to use all the equipment and help them develop those capabilities, but Fiji’s geography and culture are still very new and unfamiliar to us. They can definitely teach us a thing or two (coming from the desert).”