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NEWS | Sept. 26, 2022

U.S. Trains Fijian and Vanuatuan Military and Police on Counter Drug Training

Joint Interagency Task Force West (JIATF West) Public Affairs Office

Suva -- U.S. instructors trained 159 Fijian and Vanuatuan Military and Police forces on counter drug operations in Suva and Nadi, Fiji from July 18 to Aug 19.

U.S. Coast Guard-Maritime Security Response Team -West (USCG MSRT) led two Tactical Emergency Casualty Care courses. Participants included officers from the Fiji Police Force and the Republic of Fiji Navy. The course included best practices for trauma care in high-threat counter-drug mission environments. It involved classroom instruction followed by multiple practical application exercises based on real world scenarios.

Instructors from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration International Training Team also conducted Narcotics Investigation Courses. A total of 104 students from the Fiji Police Force, Fiji Revenue and Customs Service, Republic of Fiji Navy, Vanuatu Police Force, and Vanuatu Mobile Force graduated from the course. Training focused on core topics such as drug identification, case initiation and development, surveillance, confidential source handling, interviewing and interrogation, report writing, and operational mission planning.

Both courses were coordinated and facilitated through the assistance of Joint Interagency Task Force West (JIATF West), the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s counter-drug and counter-transnational crime Task Force.

“I had the pleasure to recognize members of the Fijian security forces during my visit to Fiji. Events like this strengthen our bonds, friendships, and partnerships with the countries of Fiji and Vanuatu,” said Rear Admiral Chuck Fosse, the Commander of Joint Inter Agency Task Force West. “By combining our resources and skills, we can better combat drug-related transnational crime across the region, minimizing its impact on local communities.”

“The trainings have enhanced our officers’ knowledge of critical law enforcement practices and skills. We appreciate your partnership, and we look forward to more engagements in the future,” said Principal Customs Officer Ako Valamalua, Fiji Revenue and Customs Service.

These courses and expert exchanges advance Fiji and Vanuatu’s capability to counter drug flows in the region and overall transnational crime. The ongoing cooperation and commitment between Fiji, Vanuatu and the United States contributes to a rules-based international order that preserves and supports a free and open Indo-Pacific.

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