Military exercise ‘special’

(Front sitting) Sainiana Tubunawasa and Maopa Nakuruilagi with their counterparts during the rememberance day parade at Sukanaivalu Barracks. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

FOR mother of one Sainiana Tubunawasa, being part of the Victoria Cross military exercise that ended yesterday was a “special” experience.

According to the Qalira native from Kadavu, the three-week exercise had sharpened her skills in the area of peacekeeping and mitigation of emergency situations.

Ms Tubunawasa, who joined her male comrades during the exercise, said like any mother, leaving home was a difficult experience especially being separated from her two-year-old daughter.

“The operation had also taught me something important and that is to rely and co-operate with my male counterparts or buddies to execute tasks,” she said.

“The training was an eye-opener especially for officers like me and it has honed my skills and knowledge on security operations.”

Her best friend Maopa Nakuruilagi, who hails from Sautoka in Nadroga, said the exercise was a first for her.

“Being in a male dominated field like this is not easy, but when we break barriers and learn to be professional everything becomes easy and something crucial I have learnt is that teamwork is just important in this field,” she said.

“No man is an island and you have to attend this form of operations to understand it because everyone in a team needs to synchronise and listen to one another in order to fulfil the objectives on any operations.

“I think I speak for both of us when I say that this has been a rich and fulfilling experience.”

Both women were part of 25 female officers involved in the exercise.

They had to sleep out in the remote areas of Bua, battling chilly nights in Savusavu, mending road check sites and undergoing peacekeeping training at the Sukanaivalu Barracks in Labasa.

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