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Minister welcomes home crew of Te Kaha

27 March 2003 Media Statement
Minister welcomes home crew of Te Kaha

Minister of Defence, Mark Burton, welcomed the crew of HMNZS Te Kaha home today, at the conclusion of their deployment to Operation Enduring Freedom’s Maritime Interdiction Operation (MIO).

Te Kaha has been replaced by HMNZS Te Mana, currently patrolling with the Canadian-led Coalition Task Group in the Arabian sea and the Gulf of Oman.

Mark Burton stressed the importance of Te Kaha’s work in MIO.

“Terrorism is still a very real threat to international security. Now, more than ever, New Zealand must continue to work closely with others globally to counter that threat.

“Te Mana is continuing that work as part of the Canadian lead task group involved in intercepting and boarding ships, escorting coalition vessels, gathering information and intelligence and, if necessary, identifying and detaining Al Quada and Taliban personnel. We stand alongside other nations who oppose those who would use cowardly acts of terror to further their own aims.”

Mark Burton praised the crew for their outstanding service.

“No responsible country takes lightly the decision to commit its young men and women to military activity of any kind overseas. I know that your role as part of Operation Enduring Freedom has added further to the international reputation of the NZDF’s service men and women.

“You have acquitted yourselves with honour and distinction. On behalf of the government and all New Zealanders, I am proud to welcome you home.”

ENDS

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