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NZDF-Led International Exercise Shifts Into High Gear

Combat-ready troops from the New Zealand-led ‘League of Pacific Nations’ task force came ashore from HMNZS CANTERBURY on the coast near Timaru this morning as part of Exercise Southern Katipo 2013 - 9 Nov 2013
Combat-ready troops from the New Zealand-led ‘League of Pacific Nations’ task force came ashore from HMNZS CANTERBURY on the coast near Timaru this morning as part of Exercise Southern Katipo 2013 - 9 Nov 2013

The picturesque port city of Timaru woke this morning to the start of the second stage of the largest international military exercise ever to be held in New Zealand.

Combat-ready troops from the New Zealand-led ‘League of Pacific Nations’ task force came ashore from HMNZS CANTERBURY on the coast near Timaru. Their mission: to prevent a fictional South West Pacific country – Mainlandia – from descending into an ethnic-fuelled civil war.

“Over the next three weeks, South Canterbury will be the setting of an exercise that tests the ability of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) to mount a medium-scale amphibious operation involving air, land and maritime assets,” said Royal New Zealand Navy Commander Peter Kempster, Chief of Staff of Exercise Southern Katipo 2013.

He noted that in the past, the NZDF has played a crucial role in responding to natural disasters or security events in the South Pacific.

“Exercises such as Southern Katipo help the NZDF prepare for a variety of contingencies and ensure that New Zealand can collaborate with other nations to assist our Pacific neighbours, should the need arise,” explained CDR Kempster.

The joint exercise involves three ships, and up to 18 aircraft and 2200 personnel from New Zealand and nine other countries. It will be held from 4-29 November 2013, with the primary area of operations centred on Timaru in New Zealand’s southern Canterbury region.

Photos, video and updates on the progress of the exercise are available on Southern Katipo 2013’s Facebook page (http://goo.gl/mN8kwu).

ENDS

For more information, please contact NZDF Senior Media Adviser Squadron Leader Lyn Coromandel on 021 420 899.

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