LABASA, Fiji -- Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, Inf. Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division from, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, arrived at Nadi International Airport July 27, 2019, to partner with the 3rd Fijian Infantry Regiment (RFMF) for a series of bilateral military-to-military exercises, collectively named Exercise Cartwheel 2019.
The U.S. Army Pacific Command sponsored exercise will center around infantry training events, civic action in local schools and humanitarian programs in and around Vanua Levu from July 29th to August 12th. The task is to provide tough realistic training, strengthening the RFMF and U.S. Army's capacity as regional leaders and increase security cooperation for a free and open Indo-Pacific.
"We are here for three reasons; to build readiness with our Fijian partners, to strengthen that relationship through training, and to become interoperable with our friends in case an emergency should happen that we would need to respond to," said Capt. Douglas Richardson, who serves as commander of B Company, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Reg.
Military-to-military training with partner nations increases readiness and the ability to respond quickly. Exercise Cartwheel is part of a commitment to our partners in the Pacific, which promotes safety in the region.
"Fostering a military-to-military relationship with Fiji and other partners is a key piece in keeping the Indo-Pacific region peaceful and safe," said Maj. Scott Schavrien, a C-130 pilot serving with the 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Force Base, Japan.
Originally, the name for Exercise Cartwheel was derived from Operation Cartwheel in World War II from 1943-1944. Cartwheel is part of Pacific Pathways, an annual U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) operation, demonstrating the U.S. Army's commitment to the Fijian nation, security cooperation and a free and open Indo-Pacific.