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NZDF hosts multinational planning exercise

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Defence

14 August 2013

NZDF hosts multinational planning exercise

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman has met with Australian, US and Chinese participants who are taking part in Exercise Phoenix Spirit, a NZ hosted defence planning exercise in Christchurch.

“This is the first time that Australia, the United States and China are contributing to a humanitarian disaster relief planning exercise in New Zealand,” says Dr Coleman.

“Exercise Phoenix Spirit is an important opportunity for New Zealand to further engage with our international partners, enhancing our mutual understanding of a multinational response to a disaster relief operation.

“It is appropriate this exercise is taking place in Christchurch where 185 people tragically lost their lives following the devastating earthquake in 2011. The NZDF provided timely assistance to Christchurch and over 1700 personnel were deployed at the height of the disaster. A number of nations also deployed Urban Search and Rescue teams including Australia, the US, and China.

“The exercise provides a forum for the NZDF to share with its partners some of the lessons learnt from Christchurch. Sharing experiences helps to ensure that in the event of a regional disaster, New Zealand remains ready to provide an effective response alongside its international partners.”

The NZDF is hosting Exercise Phoenix Spirit from 12-17 August 2013. 45 military personnel from the Australian Defence Force, the United States, the Peoples Liberation Army, and NZDF are taking part in the humanitarian aid and disaster relief forum and planning exercise which is based on an earthquake scenario.

ENDS

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