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Frigate to support NATO anti-piracy patrols

Frigate to support NATO anti-piracy patrols

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says Navy frigate HMNZS Te Mana will participate in NATO’s anti-piracy mission, Operation Ocean Shield, for three weeks from 23 January 2014.

“New Zealand is committed to international efforts to tackle piracy. As a trading nation New Zealand appreciates the importance of maritime security,” says Dr Coleman.

“HMNZS Te Mana has spent the past six weeks successfully operating in the Gulf of Aden supporting the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a multi-national naval partnership of 30 nations.

“Participating in NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield is a good opportunity for the NZ Defence Force to test its interoperability with contributing NATO nations. Te Mana will seamlessly transfer from one maritime security mission to another.

“This deployment is an example of New Zealand’s commitment to playing our part in supporting NATO in areas of common interest. In June 2012, the Prime Minister signed a partnership arrangement with NATO, and maritime security was identified as a key area of mutual security interest.”

In April 2013 Cabinet approved the deployment of a Navy frigate to support the CMF in the Gulf of Aden, and provision was made for the frigate to support other maritime security task forces operating in the region such as NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield.

New Zealand is the second NATO partner nation, after Ukraine, to contribute to Ocean Shield. Following Te Mana’s rotation with NATO, the frigate will re-join CMF operations before returning to New Zealand in March.

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