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NZ to Participate in Five Nation Training Exercise

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Defence
Media statement

20 August 2008

New Zealand to Participate in Five Nation Training Exercise

A 172 strong contingent from the 2/1st Infantry Battalion based at Burnham will head for Europe next month to participate in an army training exercise with forces from Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States, Defence Minister Phil Goff said today.

Exercise Cooperative Spirit will take place in Hohenfels, Germany in September.

"The exercise is an opportunity for the New Zealand Army to engage in training and to test interoperability with partners across a range of current conventional military and peace-keeping operations," Phil Goff said.

"The exercise will both enhance our skill levels and allow the New Zealand Defence Force to share its experience and knowledge gained from peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands and Bougainville.

"Exercise Cooperative Spirit will include a series of activities which involve peacekeeping and security/combat operations.

"This includes provision of humanitarian assistance, escort of convoys, field patrols, driver and medical training, counter IED training, base security provision and conventional combat and support operations.

"Cooperative Spirit will offer significant opportunities to train with other countries and to enhance the NZDF ability to deploy forces and operate in diverse environments", Phil Goff said.

"It will add to the benefits of current exercises New Zealand engages in, including 'Lion Spirit' with the Singapore Armed Forces. New Zealand also exercises regularly with a number of countries including members of the Five Power Defence Arrangements, France, Korea and Japan.

It will also shortly have its helicopter pilots training on new NH-90 aircraft with the German Air Force," Mr Goff said.


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