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The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) transported 120 tonnes of supplies and about 500 military personnel supporting coalition operations in the Middle East in the past month.

Twenty-five NZDF personnel and one of the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s C-130 Hercules aircraft left in May to support New Zealand, Australian and coalition operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Sinai Peninsula.

The Hercules’ primary task was to transport people, equipment and supplies while working as part of the Australian Defence Force’s Air Mobility Task Group until late June.

Squadron Leader Brad Scott, who led the NZDF’s air transport support mission in the Middle East, said the NZDF team provided additional capacity during a busy period for coalition operations.

“The entire NZDF team worked hard and can be proud of the contribution we’ve made here,” Squadron Leader Brad Scott said.

Major General Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said the NZDF’s air transport support operations in the Middle East marked its latest contribution to regional security.

“New Zealand is a reliable and trusted partner and we do our fair share towards maintaining peace and stability in the region,” Major General Gall said.

The deployment of the Hercules and the supporting detachment came on the heels of a successful six-month NZDF air transport support mission that ended in December 2016.


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