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Navy Warship Returning Home From Arabian Gulf

New Zealand Defence Force Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa Media Release

Wednesday 3 September, 2008

Navy Warship Returning Home From Arabian Gulf Deployment

Navy Warship HMNZS TE MANA will return home at 10:00 am on Sunday 7 September, 2008 after spending the last five months at sea.

Departing Auckland on 7 April 2008, TE MANA made her way up to the Arabian Gulf where she spent three months carrying out approach and assist visits in support of maritime support and security operations for Coalition Task Force (CTF) 152 in the Central and Southern Arabian Gulf.

Over the three months of her deployment in the Arabian Gulf the frigate and her 173 strong ship's company have reported more than 1700 vessels in the area, and carried out 228 approach and assist visits

The waters of the Arabian Gulf are very complex and no more so than around the Straits of Hormuz where TE MANA operated for the majority of her time out on patrol. The commitment of the ship along those of the other 19 nations in the Combined Maritime Force is a significant and unmistakable commitment from a small country like New Zealand to the ongoing international effort to create a more secure and stable Middle East.

Commanding Officer of TE MANA, Commander Blair Gerritsen says, "Ever since leaving the Middle East, five weeks and more than 8000 nautical miles ago, everyone onboard has been looking forward to the day we would eventually arrive home and what better day to do so than Fathers Day. But at the same time that we are all looking forward to our arrival everyone onboard can also look back with a good deal of pride on what we have achieved over this five month deployment, particularly during the three months we spent conducting Maritime Security Operations in the Central and Southern Arabian Gulf as part of the Combined Maritime Force.

Despite the challenges of operating throughout the height of the Middle East summer and in some of the busiest waters in the world, both the ship and the crew have performed superbly. The praise received as we departed the operational area bears testament to the value placed on our maritime contribution as another element of New Zealand's ongoing contribution to efforts in the region," he says.

The Commanding Officer and his crew of 173 men and women are all looking forward to some time at home with their loved ones after spending most of the year away. "Something we couldn't do without the support we receive from them all and indeed the rest of the Navy", concludes Commander Gerritsen.

HMNZS TE MANA - F111 Commanding Officer - Commander Blair Gerritsen (Nelson) Executive Officer - Lieutenant Commander Wiremu Leef (Kawakawa) Complement - 173 Officers and Sailors

Interesting statistics of HMNZS TE MANA's five month deployment

* 33 770 nautical miles travelled (62 542 kilometres) - for the entire deployment (enough to go around the world 1.56 times)

* 81 725 meals served

* 60 000 eggs consumed

* 3825 loaves of bread consumed

* 4.5 tonnes of potatoes consumed

* 4344 rolls of toilet paper used

* 3 536 664 rotations of the helicopters main rotor

* 800 kg of Spaghetti and Baked Beans

* 150 jars of marmite/vegemite

* 240 litres of tomato sauce

* 4.5 tonnes of potatoes

* 3825 loaves of bread

* 500 cans of L & P


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