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More Troops Bound For Solomon Islands

More Troops Bound For Solomon Islands

A platoon group of New Zealand soldiers will leave for the Solomon Islands on Wednesday 19 November for a four month deployment in the troubled region.

The 46-strong contingent, which includes 30 territorial force personnel, will replace the soldiers who have been serving with the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) for the past four months.

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Major General Rhys Jones said the contingent would perform regular patrols, liaise with locals, assist RAMSI police in downtown Honiara and help with external security at Rove Prison.

“The deployment of our New Zealand troops is essential to the country’s on-going stability and security,” he said.
“The territorial force members of the contingent are particularly suited to this kind of mission. They bring a wide variety of skills from their civilian employment, skills that they can use to provide further assistance to the people of the Solomon Islands."

The contingent, largely drawn from the territorial force regiments based in the South Island, undertook five weeks intensive pre-deployment training to ensure they are ready for any situation they may face.

The personnel currently serving in the Solomon Islands will return to New Zealand on 23 November 2008
New Zealand Defence Force personnel have contributed to security and stability in the Solomon Islands since July 2003. They assist the RAMSI mission at the request of the Solomon Islands government, working alongside other supporting nations, including Australia, Fiji, Tonga and Papua New Guinea.

Currently 855 New Zealand Defence Force personnel are deployed on 14 operations, UN missions and defence exercises around the world, in places such as Antarctica, Afghanistan, Timor- Leste, Solomon Islands, and Sudan.


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