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Commitment To Strikeforce Stands

National's Deputy Leader Bill English says media reports of diverging opinions within National over the issue of strike capability for the airforce are just plain wrong.

"There is no difference of opinion. National is committed to having an air-combat capability.

"We have a completely different view from the current government who are walking away from both a properly balanced defence force and our regional commitments.

Mr English expressed concern that some media had highlighted the lack of specific spending commitments. "I repeat what I said yesterday that we are 'starting the process of working out how to get air combat cover for our troops because... troops going into any kind of operation without air cover and perhaps without even naval cover puts them at risk.'

"How we best achieve air combat capability is something a new National Government will have to consider after consultation with the Australians and an assessment of what we inherit. We will look at all of the options to achieve the best solutions for New Zealand," Mr English said.

Ends


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