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Timor Fifth Battalion Group Prepared and Focussed

Media Release

Timor Fifth Battalion Group Prepared and Focussed

New Zealand soldiers of the Fifth Battalion Group who leave tomorrow night (Wednesday) for East Timor are prepared and focussed for what they have to do says Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Antony Hayward. The 550-strong battalion group has trained intensively in the South Island over the last three months.

Lt Col Hayward says "with the benefit of lessons learnt in East Timor by the previous four battalions, we have been able to construct accurate scenarios and provide specific training tasks for all members of the battalion group. The soldiers have a quiet determination to do a good job, and are looking forward to doing it".

Regimental Sergeant Major for the Battalion, Warrant Officer Class One Danny Broughton has been pleased with the progress of the newer members, and commitment from the veterans within the battalion.

"This group has over 180 soldiers returning to East Timor on a second tour of duty. I have been encouraged by their desire to deploy with everyone in the team focused on their role. Our team realise that the situation has progressed since we were there last, and that we need to adapt our peacekeeping methods to work with these changes. Although there's stability over there, that doesn't mean the soldiers on the ground can be complacent, and it is imperative that we stay switched on to keep that stability."

The battalion will be inserted by UN-chartered aircraft in three groups over November.

ENDS

All media are welcome to attend the departure of Colonel Hayward's group, scheduled to leave from Christchurch International Airport at 8:30 pm Wednesday 14 November 2001. Contact the South Island Army Public Relations Officer, Lieutenant Zac Prendergast on 021 249 47 69

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