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Territorial Force To Take On The Solomon Islands

New Zealand Defence Force

Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

17 October 2006

Territorial Force To Take On The Solomon Islands

The New Zealand Army’s Territorial Force is getting ready to take a major role in maintaining peace in the Solomon Islands. The Minister of Defence announced today that Territorial Force soldiers will make up the majority of personnel deploying to the troubled region over the next 12 months.

The first rotation of troops, which is almost 75% Territorial Force, has begun pre-deployment training at Burnham Military Camp near Christchurch in preparation for their departure in late November.

A total of 33 of the 45 personnel selected for the deployment have been drawn from the Territorial Force. Personnel were chosen based on their experience and ability to commit to a four-month deployment and the pre-deployment training period.

The team preparing for the mission have a wide range of experiences. Five have served on previous overseas deployments, 12 have served over five years in the Territorial Force with five having served for over 10 years. A further five have previously served in the Regular Force.

The Chief of Army, Major General Lou Gardiner is confident the team currently preparing for deployment will do well.

“This kind of deployment is ideal for the Territorial Force to take a major role in. The mission in the Solomon Islands requires strong infantry skills and an ability to get on well with the local people. Territorial Force soldiers have the best of both worlds, robust infantry training and good everyday people skills from their civilian lives.”

The Territorial Force has a long and proud history of serving on operational deployments. Large numbers served in East Timor, and significant contributions have been made to missions in Lebanon, Sinai, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Bougainville, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Solomon Islands.

ENDS


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