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NZ Troops Rescue Assault Victim In Solomon Islands

Media Release

29 November 2007

New Zealand Troops Rescue Assault Victim In Solomon Islands

Major Grant McMillan.


The Kiwi soldiers about to return to New Zealand from the Solomon Islands have been busy right to the end of their deployment, coming to the aid of a local woman being assaulted on Tuesday night.

Senior National Officer Major Grant McMillan said that a two vehicle patrol was traveling through Honiara when they noticed a car ahead being driven erratically with its rear door wide open. "The patrol used their vehicles to 'box' the car in and forced it to slow and stop. The soldiers then immediately removed the woman from the car, who the male driver had restrained by her hair."

The patrol radioed for assistance and maintained security at the scene whilst waiting for local police to attend. Police officers from Australia and Fiji who work with the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) also arrived to assist. Major McMillan said that the attending police had praised the Kiwis for their professionalism, and the team is happy about a job well done before their return to New Zealand this weekend. The forty four New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will arrive home from their four month deployment on Sunday.

They will be greeted at Ohakea Air Force Base by Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Major General Rhys Jones, family and friends. The majority of the personnel are made up of Territorial Force soldiers from the 5th Wellington West Coast Taranaki and 7th Wellington Hawke's Bay battalions, who have given up their jobs or been granted leave without pay by their employers to serve. The Kiwis have worked alongside Australian, Tongan and Papua New Guinean military personnel and police during their time in the Islands, and have also participated in New Zealand Day celebrations at Mono Island where 40 New Zealanders were killed during World War II.

They have been replaced by the fifth rotation of NZDF personnel who arrived in theatre on Tuesday. The forty four personnel will return to Ohakea Air Force Base on Sunday 2 December.

Media are invited to attend. When: 4.45pm Sunday 2 December 2007

Where: Ohakea Air Force Base

What: Arrival of NZDF personnel from a four month deployment in the Solomon Islands.


Background - Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands:

* RAMSI is a partnership between the government of the Solomon Islands and contributing pacific nations, including New Zealand and Australia. It aims to ensure security and assists the Solomon Island's people and government to develop the skills and institutions for successful self governance.

* New Zealand has supported the RAMSI mission since July 2003 at the request of the Solomon Island's government. The NZDF will maintain a continued presence in the Solomon Islands until a yet to be determined date

* The mission in the Solomon Islands requires strong infantry skills and an ability to get on well with the local people. The New Zealand Troops regularly liaise with locals, conduct patrols, provide assistance to police and help with external security at Rove Prison.


© Scoop Media

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