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New Zealand Led Joint Task Force heads to Tonga

New Zealand Led Joint Task Force heads to Tonga

A New Zealand contingent of military and police are due to arrive in Tonga at 3p.m today.

The contingent, which includes 62-strong NZDF, a small contingent of NZ Police and other Government personnel, will arrive by RNZAF Boeing. Two C130 Hercules will transport additional cargo and up to four light operational vehicles.

A further 80 Australian Defence and Federal Police personnel will join the NZDF contingent in assisting the Government of Tonga as part of a New Zealand led Combined Joint Task Force.

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Rear Admiral Jack Steer said the contingent would be providing security to the Fau’amotu International Airport to enable the resumption of civilian air travel.

New Zealand has taken the lead role in a combined operation with Australia; however both countries have deployed jointly to a number of regions within the pacific and have worked very well together.

“This is an opportunity for NZDF to take a leadership role in this type of operation and I have complete faith that they will carry out their role professionally” said Rear Admiral Steer.

ENDS

Currently 350 New Zealand Defence Force personnel are deployed on peacekeeping operations and UN missions, in 19 missions across 15 countries.

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