Wintry conditions new challenge in training

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The first sight of snow was just one of the challenges for seven officer cadets from South West Pacific countries who started honing their skills in the field in a 11-month training programme run by New Zealand Army’s Officer Cadet School.
The officer cadets are from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Singapore, Australia and Tonga.
Martin Pope, from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in Australia, said a pack marched through snow which included being ambushed was a tough challenge.
“I’ve never walked on snow before, let alone with a backpack full of gear. We stayed outdoors for hours as we waited for the ‘enemy’ and it was pretty challenging – both physically and mentally,”  said Pope, whose father is from Hamilton in New Zealand’s Waikato region.
One of two cadets from Papua New Guinea, Nathan Muli, from Enga, said his journey to New Zealand in January was his first trip overseas.
“It was my first time to experience winter and to see snow,” he said.
However, his adjustment to New Zealand conditions was disrupted when the cadets went to tropical Port Moresby three weeks ago to train in jungle warfare.
As part of resilience training, he said the cadets were made to walk 120km over two weeks, carrying a 30kg backpack and with limited rations and rest.
The well-maintained training facilities and supportive instructors were a stand-out for  Amania Kuru, one of two cadets from Fiji.

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