TRAINING AMPLITUDE IN PARADISE: International partners wrap up Exercise Cartwheel 2023 in Fiji

  Cartwheel 2023


International partners wrap up Exercise Cartwheel 2023 in Fiji

By Staff Sgt. Zandra Duran

106th Public Affairs Detachment

NAUSORI HIGHLANDS, Fiji – Exercise Cartwheel 2023, the highly-anticipated training mission featuring multiple military partners from around the globe, concluded September 29 at Nausori Highlands Training Area in Fiji. Troops from myriad nations, including the United States’ Nevada National Guard, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom joined host-nation Republic of Fiji in the two-week long training mission.

Exercise Cartwheel 2023 aimed to provide realistic training opportunities in various climes, terrain and environments. The inclusion of several countries in the exercise ensured forces met a high level of cooperative readiness for the exercise’s unified land operations. International training opportunities have proven to both enhance operational capabilities of joint forces and as well as promote the sharing of mutually-beneficial information among the forces and the strengthening of ties between partner nations.

Nevada Army Guard Land Component Commander Brig. Gen. Troy Armstrong traveled to Fiji to assess the milestone cooperative event.

“The weeks of the Cartwheel mission proved to be extraordinary and were marked by significant advancements among the partner nations – and all of it occurred in an unforgettable training area,” Armstrong said.

Occurring in late September, Exercise Cartwheel proved to be one of the culminating events prioritized by U.S. Army Pacific in Fiscal Year 2023. With oversight from USARPAC, Exercise Cartwheel included the deployment of a broad spectrum of assets and resources to the South Pacific, including personnel and equipment to conduct security cooperation exercises with the United States’ allied and partner militaries with close ties to the region.

During the Intensive Urban Warfare Training portion of the exercise, participants from the disparate nations shared their knowledge and expertise in effective breaching and entry procedures, obstacle clearance and minefield-clearing tactics.

A live fire exercise allowed Soldiers to engage in joint operations and practice squad maneuvers. Nevada National Guard 1/221st Cavalry Soldiers led the training and demonstrated their shoot, move, and communicate skills.

Soldiers from the Nevada Guard’s 609th Engineers shared their expertise in rappelling with troops from participating nations. They also provided valuable information on Personnel Protective Equipment, safety measures and the proper use of knots for setting up rappelling ropes. Also from the Nevada Guard, the 106th Public Affairs Detachment played a vital role by providing coverage of the entire exercise to the multiple nations.

Cavalry combat media Spc. Evie Morris said it was worthwhile to travel thousands of miles to Fiji for the training opportunity.

“This mission was exceptional as combined the cumulative skills and knowledge of these allied nations,” Morris said. “It allowed us to acquaint ourselves with other military organizations and immerse in diverse cultures.”

Maj. Gen. Reginald Neal, the USARPAC Deputy Commanding General, said exercises such as Cartwheel 2023 are critical in preparing for a joint response to a contingency in the South Pacific should the need arise.

“The relationships formed and the shared experiences are what will emerge as the top outcomes from this exercise,” Neal said. “I’m also pleased with the quality of our officers and young NCOs who participated this year -- I’m excited about what they may add to the future of Oceania.”