NZDF to Support Middle East Operations
File photo of an RNZAF C-130H(NZ) Hercules
3 June 2016
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is deploying a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130H(NZ) Hercules aircraft and up to 40 personnel to support New Zealand and Australian operations in the Middle East over the next six months.
Major General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall, Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said the aircraft will work as part of an Australian Defence Force (ADF) Joint Task Force to transport freight and personnel primarily to Iraq and Afghanistan from June to December. It will also support coalition operations in the Middle East region.
“Our missions in the Middle East support the international community’s resolve to preserve security and stability in the region, and the upcoming mission will reflect that continuing commitment once again,” MAJGEN Gall said.
“The operation also seeks to improve cooperation and enhance our ability to work alongside Australia and our coalition partners. We work with the ADF, the United States and other partners in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other parts of the world and this deployment marks our latest contribution,” he said.
A detachment of personnel from the RNZAF’s 40 Squadron and the wider NZDF previously deployed to the Middle East last October, where they conducted airlift tasks in support of coalition operations in the region. A number of night vision goggle flights were conducted as part of that month-long mission, including support for Prime Minister John Key’s visit to New Zealand troops in Iraq’s Camp Taji.
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