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HMNZS Canterbury On Exercise Croix Du Sud

HMNZS Canterbury On Exercise Croix Du Sud

Image taken from HMNZS CAN, April 2008, off the island of Koumac. HMAS Kanimbla in background, an ADF SeaKing helo, and one of Kanimbla’s LCM8’s board HMNZS CAN to pick up some French Armed Forces New Caledonia and their trucks.

HMNZS Canterbury is back at sea working with Defence partners in the greater South Pacific, just six weeks after being in action in an amphibious exercise.

Fresh from Exercise Sea Lion with the Australian and French Defence Forces off Townsville in late February, CANTERBURY is part of a tri-service participation in Exercise Croix Du Sud (Southern Cross) in New Caledonia.

The bi-annual exercise is French Armed Forces New Caledonia-led (FANC) and also involves the Defence Forces of Papua New Guinea, Australia, Vanuatu and Tonga.

The aim of Exercise Croix Du Sud is to provide a realistic setting for a combined non-combatant evacuation operation in order to effectively train personnel.

This year’s exercise is centred on a political scenario where internal strife has impacted on a country close to New Zealand. Extremists have disrupted government control of the nation to the extent of rioting and the instability is placing foreign nationals at risk. As part of a UN-mandated action, CANTERBURY and NZDF elements are providing assistance for their extraction and to support legitimate government.

Commanding Officer of CANTERBURY, Commander Tony Millar, says that Croix Du Sud shows that Nations understand there is a need to have the capacity to reach inland direct from the sea.

“Croix Du Sud is a key enabling exercise. It is of greater complexity to Exercise Sea Lion and requires us to perform similar drills but under the stress of an operational or tactical situation. It helps test our priorities of being a combat ready, deployable and sustainable Defence Force in a challenging and realistic environment,” says CDR Millar.

Croix Du Sud runs until the 12th of April after which CANTERBURY sails back to New Zealand via Raoul Island to pick up DOC staff and supplies.


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