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Alert! NZ Orion deploys to the Gulf

Alert! NZ Orion deploys to the Gulf

Mark Burton, Minister of Defence, announced today that an RNZAF P3 Orion will depart from Whenuapai for the Gulf of Oman on 11 May (see text of his media release below).

If you wish to convey your thoughts on this to the government, contact details for the relevant politicians are: Helen Clark, Prime Minister, email mailto:pm@ministers.govt.nz tel (04) 471 9998, fax (04) 473 3579; Phil Goff, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, email mailto:pgoff@ministers.govt.nz tel (04) 470 6553, fax (04) 495 8444; Mark Burton, Minister of Defence, email mailto:mburton@ministers.govt.nz tel (04) 470 6564, fax (04) 495 8465.

It would also be useful to contact your local MP, especially if they are a goverment politician - MPs can be contacted at their parliamentary office by telephoning (04) 471 9999 and asking to be put through to the respective MP; or by contacting their electoral office. Contact details for all MPs are available on-line at http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/YourMP/ListMPs/

If you are looking for additional points to make to your MP, check out 'Alert! stop all NZ military cooperation with the US and British armed forces' available online at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nzparlt0303.htm That alert was written in March, but contains relevant information about how military cooperation with the US and British armed forces breaches the government's Defence Policy Framework (June 2000) and the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act (1987).

Media release P3 Orion deploys to the Gulf of Oman Mark Burton, Minister of Defence, 5 May 2003

An RNZAF P3 Orion will depart from Whenuapai for the Gulf of Oman on 11 May as part of New Zealand's contribution to Operation Enduring Freedom, Minister of Defence Mark Burton announced today.

The aircraft and crew will operate within a multinational force and contribute to the Maritime Interdiction Operation in the Gulf of Oman. The Orion will be tasked with the detection, identification and surveillance of surface vessels.

"In November last year, this government announced its decision to send a New Zealand frigate and a P3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft to support the multinational campaign against global terrorism known as Operation Enduring Freedom," said Mark Burton.

"The frigate HMNZS Te Kaha deployed immediately, and was replaced in the area of operations by HMNZS Te Mana in February 2003.

"The Orion's deployment is expected to last until November 2003, with personnel changeovers during that period."

Forty Air Force personnel, including aircrew and support staff, will also form part of the deployment. They will depart separately in two Air Force C-130 Hercules transport aircraft on 8 and 10 May, with scheduled return dates of 16 and 17 May. The C-130s will also carry spares and support equipment.

Mark Burton stressed that global terrorism remains of great concern, both to New Zealand and to the international community.

"This deployment recognises the continuing threat of terrorism to international security, and New Zealand's commitment to working closely with others globally to counter that threat. I am confident that we are sending world-class personnel who will acquit themselves with honour and distinction, whatever challenges they face."

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