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Minister welcomes home P3 Orion crew

Minister welcomes home P3 Orion crew

Minister of Defence Mark Burton congratulated the crew of an RNZAF P3 Orion aircraft for their outstanding work in the Maritime Interdiction Operation in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman—part of New Zealand’s contribution to the international campaign against terrorism.

Mark Burton met the aircraft at its arrival home to Whenuapai Air Base yesterday, at the conclusion of its nine-month deployment as part of the Canadian-led Coalition Task Group.

“Reports from both the Chief of Defence Force and from our partners in the Task Group have been excellent. During this deployment, the P3 detachment executed an outstanding 98 percent of their missions—the highest rate in the MIO.

“The NZDF has also been commended for the innovative, “number 8 silicone coated fencing wire” solutions created in the field by our maintenance and support personnel.

“Our personnel have been praised directly for their professionalism and expertise at the highest levels of the Task Force, particularly for their technical skills, dynamic approach to operations, and commitment to working effectively with their Task Force partners.

“Terrorism is still a very real threat to international security. Through deployments such as this, New Zealand continues to work closely with others to counter that threat. “Once again, New Zealand’s world-class service men and women have reinforced the excellent image they enjoy overseas, acquitting themselves with distinction in a very difficult environment.

“All New Zealanders can be proud of the way in which the people assigned to this mission have conducted themselves. I know that your role as part of the Task Force has added even further to the NZDF’s already outstanding international reputation.

“I also want to acknowledge the very real contribution made by your families and loved ones, as well as your colleagues back in New Zealand. They carry the extra responsibilities, both at home and at work, created by your absence.

“On behalf of the government and New Zealand, I am delighted to welcome you home.

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