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Army on Exercise in Lower Central North Island

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release
7 November 2005


ARMY ON EXERCISE IN LOWER CENTRAL NORTH ISLAND

The largest New Zealand Army exercise to be held for some years begins later this week. Exercise Silver Warrior will see 800 personnel and over 250 military vehicles taking part in a number of different training situations across the lower central North Island.

The Taranaki, Wanganui and Manawatu regions will see the best the New Zealand Army has to offer, including 51 NZLAVs, the new Pinzgauer Light Operational Vehicle and elements from all areas of the Army. The exercise will run for two weeks.

Exercise Silver Warrior is designed to confirm that the Linton based 1st Battalion, designated as the New Zealand Army’s motorised battalion, has reached its directed level of capability (DLOC) milestone, an output required by the government. DLOC is the level of capability that the New Zealand Defence Force is funded to maintain in order to provide the government with options for the commitment of military forces.

1st Battalion have been training in section, platoon and company sized groups since 2004 when the NZLAVs were introduced into service. Exercise Silver Warrior will be the first time the Battalion has operated as a collective whole.

Major General Jerry Mateparae, Chief of Army, is in no doubt that the motorised battalion will achieve the milestone. “Exercise Silver Warrior will confirm to New Zealand that their Army has met the target to have a motorised battalion group ready to respond to the government’s requirements by the end of 2005.

The Battalion has been focused on training and developing the tactics, techniques and procedures for operating as a motorised battalion since 2004. Exercise Silver Warrior is designed to be challenging and test the battalion group in a number of different scenarios.

Exercise Silver Warrior could be seen as a trial game before the selection of the test team. In today’s complex threat environment, that test could be providing assistance with delivering humanitarian aid, undertaking peace keeping or peace enforcement activity, or conducting combat operations. Our job is to be prepared to not only successfully undertake all these responsibilities, but to be able to react to them simultaneously”.

Members of the public living or travelling in the lower North Island can expect to see large numbers of Army personnel and military vehicles throughout the Taranaki, Wanganui and Manawatu regions. The exercise has been planned in conjunction with local authorities and will be well controlled. Members of the public should expect little disruption during the two week period the exercise runs.

ENDS

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