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Defence to send specialist force to Lebanon

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

18 December 2006

Defence to send specialist force to Lebanon

The New Zealand Defence Force will contribute ten personnel to Lebanon as part of a global contribution working with the United Nations Mine Action Coordination Centre in Southern Lebanon.

Rear Admiral Jack Steer, Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said the deployment of four Navy and six Army personnel would occur in mid-January, after final preparations were complete.

“We will deploy an unexploded munitions clearance team made up of four Royal New Zealand Navy operational divers and six New Zealand Army Engineers. The team will use their specialist skills to remove unexploded munitions and reclaim areas for civilian occupation.

“New Zealand can make a real difference for the people of Southern Lebanon whose lives have been further disrupted by the ordnance left behind following the recent conflict.

“New Zealand has a robust and well respected Unexploded Ordinance Disposal capability that has previously deployed to Afghanistan, Timor Leste, Cambodia and even to the Tokelau Islands.”

The NZDF commitment to Southern Lebanon is for 12 months, the contingent deploying in January will be replaced after approximately six months.

ENDS

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