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Army Urban Training Exercise in CBD Red Zone

Media Release
3 October 2012

Army Urban Training Exercise in CBD Red Zone

Christchurch’s Red Zone is providing a training opportunity for the Defence Force seeking to hone their skills for operating in complex urban environments.

Depot Company, from 2/1 Battalion Royal NZ Infantry Regiment, based in Burnham Military Camp, is conducting an exercise in areas of the residential Red Zone and in the CBD of Christchurch over the period of 3-5 October.

Complex environments are found when armed forces have to engage not necessarily with regular armed forces, but in situations that might include terrorists, criminals, local security forces, civilians, and non-governmental organisations, in an often urbanised environment which presents greater challenges in moving and communicating easily.

Officer Commanding of Depot Company, Major Aaron Wright notes, “Modern warfare is increasingly taking place in more complicated settings like towns and cities. Along with the enemy there will potentially be civilian bystanders, as well as people from other agencies there because they are trying to help. It is important that our soldiers undertake training in varied urban environments to prepare them for deployments both here and overseas. The Christchurch earthquake was a good example of our soldiers deploying at short notice into a complicated and potentially dangerous built-up environment.”

In this week’s exercise soldiers will be tested on their ability to conduct low and medium intensity operations of short duration from both foot and vehicle. These activities will include training in patrolling, detaining persons of interest, and close quarter combat.

“While the soldiers are fortunate to have the opportunity to train within earthquake affected areas, they are also very aware that this could have been their own neighbourhood in which they grew up, and for some of them it actually is,” says Major Wright. “It is a fitting conclusion to the past 13 weeks of intensive training that they have undergone to prepare them for their roles as combat soldiers within the NZ Army.”

Those within the local community directly affected by this exercise have had prior correspondence with NZ Army about the training taking place and it was advertised locally: “We really would like to thank the local community for their support over the week to come.”

Delta Company also from 2/1 Battalion Royal NZ Infantry Regiment, based in Burnham Military Camp will be exercising in the area of the CBD surrounding Kilmore St next Wednesday 10 October.

ENDS

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