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NZDF Calming Support in Tonga

NZDF Calming Support in Tonga



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New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release

Monday, November 20, 2006.

NZDF Calming Support in Tonga

Restoration of calm remains the focus of the 72 New Zealand Defence Force personnel deployed after three days in the Tongan capital.

New Zealand troops continue to maintain security at Fau'amotu Airport in conjunction with Tongan Defence Service personnel. "Monday's achievement was securing the airport, which is now fully functioning and operational for commercial flights," said Lieutenant Colonel Darren Beck.

The ANZAC task force, which numbers over 150 New Zealand and Australian troops, includes police to assist in re-establishing law and order. Elements of the Combined Joint Task Force are conducting limited patrols in the city, providing a backup presence to the Tongan Defence Services.

"There is frequent liaison between ourselves and Tongan officials," said Lieutenant Colonel Beck. "The Task Force is present to provide assistance to Tonga, to allow them to work towards restoring calm.

"New Zealand and Australian defence personnel are providing backup forces for security, and to assist in returning to normalcy the daily life of Tongan communities."

The Combined Joint Task Force will remain in Tonga at the request of the Tongan Government for the interim. The focus is now on consultation, planning and preparation for future tasks that may arise. Any future tasking requests will be assessed and directed from the NZ Government.

ENDS

Currently 673 New Zealand Defence Force personnel are deployed on
peacekeeping operations, UN missions, and Defence Force exercises in 20
missions across 16 countries.

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