Brisbane-based Australian Army soldiers are training troops from the Republic of Fiji Military Force (RFMF) on how to use Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles (PMV) as part of an ongoing agreement between the two nations. The Fijian Government purchased refitted Bushmasters from Australia in 2017 for use in peacekeeping operations and training in Fiji, and the Australian Army has been providing the RFMF driver training. Eighteen Republic of Fiji Military Force soldiers are taking part in the most recent course, run by 7th Brigade at Gallipoli Barracks and the Greenbank Training Area, to learn how to drive the vehicles in various terrain, recovery methods and maintenance before becoming Bushmaster instructors themselves back in Fiji. 7th Brigade, through 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, has a strong habitual relationship with the RFMF and will continue to work together on training and engagement opportunities throughout the year and into the future.
The Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle or Infantry Mobility Vehicle is an Australian-built four-wheel drive armoured vehicle. The Bushmaster was primarily designed by the then government-owned Australian Defence Industries(ADI), and is currently produced by Thales Australia with a support contract provided by Oshkosh Truck following the acquisition of ADI. The Bushmaster is currently in service with the Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Netherlands Army, British Army, Japan Ground Self Defense Force, Fiji Infantry Regiment, Jamaica Defence Force and the New Zealand Army. The role of the Bushmaster is to provide protected mobility transport (or protected troop lift capability), with infantry dismounting from the vehicle before going into action. As the Bushmaster is only lightly armoured, the term Infantry Mobility Vehicle (IMV) was initially adopted to distinguish it from a heavier wheeled or tracked armoured personnel carrier, such as the ASLAV and M113 also in Australian service. Later the Bushmaster’s designation was changed to Protected Mobility Vehicle (PMV).