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New Defence Personnel For Afghanistan


New Defence Personnel For Afghanistan

86 New Zealand Defence Force personnel depart Christchurch on Saturday for a six month tour of duty with the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Afghanistan. Amongst the personnel is the new Senior National Officer for the mission, Colonel Mick Alexander.

The troops have been drawn from all three services within the Defence Force, and includes two members of the Territorial Force. The departing personnel will replace the current team scheduled to return to New Zealand mid September.

The farewell will be attended by the Minister of Fisheries, the Honourable David Benson-Pope and the Land Component Commander, Brigadier Warren Whiting.

New Zealand first committed troops to the PRT in the Bamyan Province of Afghanistan in September 2003. Almost one year on, the NZ PRT has made a significant contribution to the rebuilding of the Bamyan infrastructure, and has been instrumental in helping the Bamyan province achieve the highest voter registration in the country.

The PRT is designed to assist the Afghan Transitional Government extend it's influence beyond Kabul, and promote reconstruction in Bamyan and assess civil, political and military reform efforts through community engagement.

The flight is scheduled to depart Christchurch Airport at 9.00 am, Saturday 28 August 2004.


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