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Fresh Legs for Solomon Islands Mission

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release
Friday, November 24, 2006.

Fresh Legs for Solomon Islands Mission

After weeks of extensive training, a group of Territorial Force (TF) soldiers are due to depart on a four-month tour to the Solomon Islands.

Forty five soldiers, including 33 TF personnel will leave for Honiara on Monday 27 November.

They will replace New Zealand Defence Force personnel serving with the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) since July.

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral Jack Steer says the contingent has been training together since October and is ready for the job at hand.

“The Territorial Force personnel bring with them a wealth of experience, several have deployed overseas before, and a number of them previously served in the Regular Force.” said Rear Admiral Steer.

“The contingent is well suited to this type of deployment and I have every confidence they will do their job professionally and successfully,” he said.

The platoon will perform regular patrols around the Solomon Islands, assist RAMSI police in downtown Honiara and help with external security at Rove Prison.

New Zealand Defence Force personnel have contributed to security and stability in the Solomon Islands since July 2003.

They contribute to the RAMSI mission at the request of the Solomon Islands Government.

--

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is RAMSI?
The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) is a partnership between the government of the Solomon Islands and contributing Pacific nations, including New Zealand and Australia. It aims to ensure security and assists the Solomon Islands’ people and government to develop the skills and institutions for successful self governance.

How long has New Zealand been contributing to RAMSI?
New Zealand has supported the RAMSI mission since July 2003 at the request of the Solomon Island’s government.

What do the New Zealand troops do in the Solomon Islands?
The mission in the Solomon Islands requires strong infantry skills and an ability to get on well with the local people. The New Zealand troops regularly liaise with locals, conduct patrols, provide assistance to police and help with external security at Rove Prison.

How often do Territorial Force personnel deploy overseas?
In recent years over 520 territorial force personnel have deployed to operational peacekeeping roles in Sinai, Bougainville, East Timor, Bosnia, Sudan, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. They have consistently demonstrated their capability and skills on every deployment.


ENDS

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