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New Zealand Troops Depart For Solomons Tour

26 November 2007

New Zealand Troops Depart For Solomons Tour


Forty-four New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will depart for a four month tour of duty in the Solomon Islands on Tuesday. The NZDF personnel are the fifth rotation to serve in the Solomon Islands and are drawn mainly from the Territorial Force.

They will continue to support the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

Regular tasks for the Kiwis include carrying out patrols, liaising with locals, providing assistance to police and help with external security at Rove Prison. The platoon deploying on Tuesday will replace the fourth rotation of NZDF personnel who return to New Zealand early in December. They will be farewelled by Secretary of Defence John McKinnon, family and friends.

The main body will depart from Christchurch Airport (Air Movements Terminal) on Tuesday 27 November. Media are invited to attend. When: 8.30am Tuesday 27 November 2007

Where: Christchurch Airport (Air Movements Terminal)

What: Departure of NZDF personnel for a four month deployment in the Solomon Islands.

Media wishing to attend the departure must register with Nicole Munro-Johnson, (04) 529 6033 or 021 569 148, before 4pm on Monday 26 November to ensure access is available. Photo identification will be required on the day.

ENDS

Background - Regional Assistance Mission to 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 Island's people and government to develop the skills and institutions for successful self governance.

* New Zealand has supported the RAMSI mission since July 2003 at the request of the Solomon Island's government. The NZDF will maintain a continued presence in the Solomon Islands until a yet to be determined date

* 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.

ENDS

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