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NZ Navy hosts largest exercise in decades

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Defence

17 February 2014

NZ Navy hosts largest exercise in decades

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says the New Zealand Navy’s largest exercise in decades gets underway in Auckland today.

“With over 600 personnel from 14 nations and five military ships from New Zealand, Australia, and the Republic of Korea, this is a significant exercise for the New Zealand Navy,” says Dr Coleman.

“The Western Pacific Naval Symposium Mine Counter Measures and Diving Exercise is a good opportunity for New Zealand to work alongside our partners to test our readiness to respond to a natural disaster in the South Pacific.

“The exercise scenario involves a New Zealand led multinational taskforce assist with creating new shipping routes in undamaged coastal areas so humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies can be delivered.

“The South Pacific region is susceptible to natural disasters. It is important New Zealand is prepared for a variety of contingencies, so we can play our part along with our partners to provide assistance when required.

“The Navy’s mine clearance and survey teams have considerable experience in this area, having provided assistance during the Christchurch Earthquakes and the Rena disaster. They also routinely work closely with our partners to remove WWII explosive remnants of war in the South Pacific.”

The Western Pacific Naval Symposium Mine Counter Measures and Diving Exercise takes place in the Auckland region from 17 February to 7 March 2014. The exercise includes personnel from Australia, Canada, Chile, China, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.

ENDS

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