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Kiwi Forces Deploy to South China Sea

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release
04 September 2006

Kiwi Forces Deploy to South China Sea

The sounds of battle will resonate over the South China Sea this month as the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) launches air and sea training exercises with its Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) partners.

The joint operation exercises, known as Bersama Padu, will run from September 4 - 22 and focus on the operational and tactical levels of warfare.

The event is being hosted by the Singapore Defence Force and will include simulated battle scenarios as well as mine laying and recovery operations.

The New Zealand contingent, which includes navy, air force and army personnel, will work alongside 25 ships and 78 aircraft from the Australian, British, Malaysian and Singaporean defence forces.

NZDF involvement includes the Royal New Zealand Navy frigate Te Kaha, support vessel HMNZS Endeavour and the nine-man operational dive squad, who will focus primarily on the mine laying and removal side of the exercises.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion will also be involved while a 28-strong joint force of command and logistics personnel will help co-ordinate activities.

New Zealand Joint Forces Commander Rear Admiral Jack Steer said the aim of the exercise was to ensure the FPDA partners could work together effectively when called upon.

“Without joint operations like these our defence forces could not hope to work together effectively in a time of need. Bersama Padu gives us exactly the type of opportunity we need”
The event would also help defence personnel to gain experience in new and challenging situations and would allow New Zealand to show off its capabilities and commitment to security in the Asia-Pacific region, he said.


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