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Minister farewells Te Mana crew

Minister farewells Te Mana crew

Minister of Defence, Mark Burton, spoke to the crew of HMNZS Te Mana today, prior to their deployment to take their place in Operation Enduring Freedom's Maritime Interdiction Operation (MIO).

Te Mana will replace HMNZS Te Kaha, currently patrolling with the Canadian-led Coalition Task Group in the Arabian sea and the Gulf of Oman.

Mark Burton stressed the importance of their mission.

"This deployment recognises the continuing threat of terrorism to international security, and the need to work closely with others globally to counter that threat.

"Te Mana will continue as part of the Canadian lead task group involved in intercepting and boarding ships, gathering information and intelligence and, if necessary, identifying and detaining Al Quada and Taliban personnel.

"It is for this, and for no other reason, you are departing today.

"No country takes lightly the decision to commit its young men and women to military activity of any kind overseas. You can take pride in knowing that your deployment is part of a commitment to stand alongside other nations who oppose those who would use cowardly acts of terror to further their own aims.

"I know that your role as part of Operation Enduring Freedom will add further to the NZDF's international reputation. New Zealand's service men and women-be they Air Force, Army, and Navy-have always had a proud tradition, and I know your work throughout this deployment will carry this tradition on.

"I am confident that we are sending world class personnel who will acquit themselves well, whatever the challenges. I know that you will acquit yourselves with honour and distinction."

Te Mana will be joined by a P3 Orion in April, and is expected to remain with the Coalition Task Group until late June.

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