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NZ troops return from Afghanistan

New Zealand Defence Force Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release

Monday 13th September 2004

NZ troops return from Afghanistan

94 New Zealand Defence Force personnel will arrive in Christchurch on Tuesday from a six-month tour of duty with the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Afghanistan. Amongst the returning personnel is Group Captain Gavin Howse who was the Senior National Officer for the mission.

The welcome home will be attended by the Minister of Defence, the Honourable Mark Burton and the Chief of Defence Force, Air Marshal Bruce Ferguson.

New Zealand first committed troops to the PRT in the Bamyan Province of Afghanistan in September 2003. 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 arrive at Christchurch Airport at 5.45 pm, Tuesday 14 September 2004 not 7.15pm as earlier advised.

ENDS


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