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Naval Ships Depart For Mine Exercise In Noumea

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa
Media Release
Monday 2 November, 2009

Naval Ships Depart For Mine Exercise In Noumea


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Caption: HMNZS Resolution

Navy Dive Tender HMNZS MANAWANUI and the Navy Principal Survey Vessel HMNZS RESOLUTION departed the Devonport Naval Base over the weekend bound for Noumea. The Navy Operational Diving Team and the Navy Mine Counter Measure Team have also deployed and along with the ships make up the NZ Defence Force contribution to Lagoon Mine Exercise 09 to be held in New Caledonia Lagoon from 5th to 20th of November 2009.

Other exercise participants include Mine Counter Measure assets from USA, France, Australia and NZ.

The outline for the exercise is to search, locate, identify and dispose of (with explosives) the historic ordnance located within the New Caledonian Lagoon. The teams will use its Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (REMUS) and associated equipment to search for the targets and the Navy Operational Diving Team will utilise the VIPER Semi Closed NITROX Re-breather or the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to identify and raise the mines (with the Remote Mine Lifting Bags) before they are towed to a predetermined safe area and disposed of through explosive techniques.

Background

U.S. forces landed on New Caledonia in 1942 when the United States entered World War II. New Caledonia became an important outpost in the battle for the Pacific. With its central Pacific location, the island provided a strategic air base as well as personnel and logistics support for the war. During World War Two (WWII) twelve defensive mine fields where laid around the island, on completion of WWII sweeping operations where conducted and the mines were sunk.

HMNZ Ships RESOLUTION and MANAWANUI, along with the Navy Operational Diving Team and Navy Mine Counter Measure Team are due back home to the Devonport Naval Base on Saturday 28 November.

The New Zealand Defence Force is actively defending New Zealand’s interests within our territorial boundaries and in trouble spots around the globe.

There are currently 805 New Zealand Defence Force personnel deployed on 14 operations, UN missions and defence exercises around the world.

For further information, and requests for interviews, please contact Lieutenant Commander Barbara Fleissner, Senior Media Adviser (Navy) - 021-2440638

Ship Particulars

Particulars of HMNZS RESOLUTION – Pennant Number A14
Standard Displacement: 2,262 tonnes
Length Overall: 68 metres
Beam: 13 metres
Draught: 5.2m
Speed: 12 knots
Range: 21,500 nautical miles
Complement: 44 (9 Officers, 34 Ratings)
Accommodation for 48 onboard.
Commanding Officer – Commander Murray Tuffin (Titirangi)
Accurate charts are essential for safe navigation both on the open sea and on inshore waters. As the Royal New Zealand Navy's (RNZN) principal survey ship, RESOLUTION is used primarily to survey and chart the waters in and around New Zealand and the Pacific. Her secondary role is to conduct Multi Agency Tasking in support of the Whole of Government Approach to the protection of New Zealand’s Sovereign interests, both at home and abroad.

RESOLUTION is named after the sailing vessel HMS RESOLUTION, used by Captain James Cook, RN, during his second and third voyages to New Zealand between 1772 and 1779, thus recognising the extensive hydrographic survey work Cook and his team completed.

RESOLUTION was formerly the US Navy Ship TENACIOUS, where she was utilised as a towed array sonar vessel deployed for three months at a time streaming a two-mile underwater listening device. She was commissioned into the RNZN on 13 February 1997.

The ship's home port is Gisborne. HMNZS RESOLUTION also provides a scholarship for under-privileged high school students to participate in a 10 day passage on the SPIRIT OF NEW ZEALAND.

HMNZS MANAWANUI – A09 – is a purpose built dive support ship and is the Navy’s diving support vessel.
Standard Displacement: 911 tonnes
Length Overall: 43.6 metres
Beam: 9.5 metres
Draught: 3.2m
Speed: 11 knots
Range: 5000+ nautical miles
Complement: 20 personnel
Commanding Officer – Lieutenant Commander Phil Rowe (Devonport)

HMNZS MANAWANUI was originally the STAR PERSEUS, built as a diving support vessel for North Sea oil rig operations. She was renamed and commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) in 1988.

The Operational Dive Team (ODT) frequently work onboard MANAWANUI. The ODT are the premier divers of the RNZN, trained for deep diving with mixed gases, underwater demolition and unexploded ordnance disposal.

MANAWANUI has a triple lock recompression chamber, a crane with 13 tonne lifting capacity, wet diving bell and a small engineering workshop. She also has limited deck cargo carrying capacity.

ENDS

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