Minister Payne meets with Fiji Defence Minister and visits Thales facility

Minister Payne meets with Fiji Defence Minister and visits Thales facility
Minister for Defence Marise Payne and Fijian counterpart Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola are briefed on Bushmasters during a visit to Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane.

Minister for Defence Marise Payne met with Fiji’s Minister for Defence and National Security Ratu Inoke Kubuabola on Monday in Brisbane, after Australia sold 10 refitted Bushmasters to Fiji.

As reported on Defence Connect, the Australian government has agreed to sell 10 refitted Thales Bushmasters to Fiji for use in United Nations peacekeeping operations in the Golan Heights and Syria, as well as for pre-development training in Fiji.

The ministers visited Gallipoli Barracks for a briefing on the ADF Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle (PMV) capability and Defence engagement with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF).

They then visited the Thales Eagle Farm facility to be briefed on Fiji's PMV preparation and training of RFMF personnel.

As part of the sales agreement, soldiers from Brisbane's 7th Combat Brigade are training RFMF troops on the Bushmasters.

Minister Payne said the relationship between the Australian Army and RFMF is focused on peacekeeping and engineering capacity development.

"Fiji is an important regional partner to Australia and a valuable contributor to global security, evidenced in its strong commitment to supporting UN peacekeeping missions worldwide," Minister Payne said.

"A strong defence relationship allows Australia and Fiji to work together to tackle a range of regional and global challenges such as regional stability, development and transnational crime.

"Our defence co-operation continues to strengthen in the areas of maritime security, peacekeeping, engineering, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief."

During their bilateral meeting, the ministers discussed regional security challenges, the upcoming South Pacific Defence Ministers' Meeting and the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program.

 

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