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NEWS | Sept. 13, 2022

Exercise Cartwheel 2022 Urban Assault Shoot House

By Sgt. Brian Jones, 343rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

BLACKROCK TRAINING CAMP, NADI, Fiji - The United States, Fijian, New Zealand, Australian Soldiers, and British Gurkhas trained each other over new strategies to enter a shoot house adequately clear a building during the Urban Training phase of Exercise Cartwheel, September 13, 2022. The temporary shoot houses were constructed by the U.S. Army Reserve 797th Engineers Vertical Construction Company from Guam and New Zealand soldiers. These shoot houses were used to show the different techniques the United States and Australian Armies have developed.

The Australian army had several personnel demonstrating their tactics of entering a building and navigating hallways during combat scenarios. Australian army Corporal Louis Carbery, an infantry soldier of the 8/9th battalion Royal Australian Regiment specializing in reconnaissance, said, “The purpose of today and for the next three days is a training package that we have developed that specializes in urban warfare, the Australian army sent a contingency over to Fiji. We are here to help support a little training, mainly to build relationships with the Fijian forces, United States government, British government, Royal Gurkha regiment, and New Zealand forces.”

Building a solid relationship with each partner nation is what the Australian army has come here to do as their primary mission set, and it shows how much they care about their job and want to share the skills they have learned.

Capt. Harrison Negrone, 8/9th battalion Royal Australian Regiment, located in Brisbane, said, “we are working with the Fijian Army, the New Zealand Army, and the United States Army, and we are building relationships and getting the opportunity to cross over and see each other's urban drills and skills to understand and increase interoperability between the nations.” Capt. Negrone is happy to show the best practices they have developed to help the partner armies, but he appreciates the troops’ willingness to learn.

Exercise Cartwheel 2022 was developed to share best practices and build readiness through military-to-military training. Great attitudes from the partner nations allow for excellent training experiences.

Spc. Connor MacDowell, an infantry team leader from 1st Platoon, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, said, “the shoot house here is fantastic; the weather is about the same as Hawaii; a bit more humid, but it's fun, great atmosphere, and I am feeling appreciative of the training being presented here in Fiji.”

Spc. MacDowell values how friendly the partner nations have worked alongside the different cultures. “The Aussies are great; I love them; I have family from Australia, so it's nice to be close to family again; the Kiwis are fantastic, and the Fijians are fun to be around,” said Spc. MacDowell.

The Urban Training portion of Exercise Cartwheel kicked off the bilateral military-to-military training. The partner nation soldiers quickly came together to start the training as a success. Capt. Negrone summed up the atmosphere when he stated, “I think it's an excellent opportunity that's been put together by all the planning teams; hats off to them, it's been great; I like the exercise so far, and looking forward to the rest of it.”