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Trans-tasman counter terrorism exercise next week

5 September 2003 Media Statement
Trans-tasman counter terrorism exercise to begin next week

As part of New Zealand and Australia’s continuing efforts to coordinate effective counter terrorism strategies, a combined counter-terrorist (CT) exercise will take place at a number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) camps and bases from 8-12 September.

The exercise is designed to test procedures for resolving a terrorist incident involving Australian and/or New Zealand hostages being held in a third country.

Minister of Defence Mark Burton says that the exercise offers an ideal opportunity to further strengthen the New Zealand/Australia defence relationship.

“In today’s global environment, and especially in the context of our Closer Defence Relations (CDR) agreement, it's important that our two defence forces be as familiar as possible with each other's capabilities and procedures.

“By training together for such a scenario, we will gain an increased understanding of trans-tasman CT arrangements, as well as enhance interoperability between our two defence forces.”

The exercise is Australia-led, and will involve defence personnel, police, and foreign affairs officials from both New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand has worked closely with Australia throughout the planning stages, and is heavily involved in the direction and control of the exercise.

“This is only one of a wide range of exercises which are supported in Australia and New Zealand. It reflects the close defence relationship and cooperation in counter-terrorism between our two countries which is so necessary to the security of our region,” said Mark Burton.

ENDS

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