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First time in Russia for NZ Navy

June 8 2005

First time in Russia for NZ Navy

Te Mana berthed by the Russian flag ship, Varyag

On Friday 10 June, HMNZ Ships TE MANA and ENDEAVOUR will be the first New Zealand warships ever to visit Russia when they berth at Vladivostok.

At dawn on 10 June the New Zealand task group will meet a Russian warship, which is to escort us as we sail up the long narrow approach to Russia's legendary naval base. Vladivostok is the HQ of the Russian Pacific Fleet and we understand that the Commander in Chief himself will lead the courtesy calls, after TE MANA berths.

While in Vladivostok, the ships will support a local orphanage run by a New Zealander; the sailors providing assistance at the Living Hope Day Centre with painting and minor maintenance. TE MANA and ENDEAVOUR's combined sports teams are also scheduled to play the Russian Naval Academy at soccer and volleyball.

For the young Kiwis aboard the two ships there is a sense of anticipation, in Vladivostok they are breaking new ground in Russian-New Zealand relations, becoming the first Kiwis to sail in New Zealand warships into Russian waters.

From Richard Jackson, in HMNZS ENDEAVOUR.

*****************

Images follow showing NZ and Russian military personnel meeting during and after the docking of the vessels Endeavour and Te Mana

Lieutenant Casey MacMillan (Nelson), Navigator of HMNZS ENDEAVOUR briefing the pilotage run before entering Russia.

Commanding Officer of ENDEAVOUR with the Russians embarked onboard on the entry (Pilot, Navigator, and Liaison Officer)

Te Mana Commander Lance Cook, presenting a ships plaque to Russian Pacific Fleet Commander, Admiral Federov

Endeavour Commander David Hedgley greeting Russian officials during the welcome ceremony on arrival.

ENDS


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