Commander Joint Forces in Talks w Pacific Nations
Commander Joint Forces New Zealand in Talks With Pacific Nations
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New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa
5 December 2007
COMMANDER JOINT FORCES NEW ZEALAND IN TALKS WITH PACIFIC NATIONS
Major General Rhys Jones was on a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3-K Orion as it touched down in Niue, Rarotonga and Samoa during scheduled maritime surveys this week.
Maj Gen Jones has already met heads of state and key personnel in Niue and Rarotonga, and will do the same in Samoa today in what has become an annual series of talks.
The goal is to ensure that support from the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is well tuned to the needs of these countries
“In order to be certain that we know the real needs of the Pacific Island nations it is important that we maintain contact and personal relations with the key personalities. My visits are part of this ongoing programme of engagement," said Maj Gen Jones.
The NZDF has supported disaster relief operations, assisted in the building of infrastructure, and patrolled the economic zones of the Pacific countries for many years.
Less known is the help that the NZDF provide in the training and support to local military and police forces, both in their home locations and in New Zealand.
The economic zone patrols are a regular task for the RNZAF Orion, usually carried out once a month and often in conjunction with Navy patrol boats to primarily target illegal foreign fishing vessels.