5 February 2009
Felling trees, building walkways and retaining walls, and laying concrete are all tasks that’ll be undertaken when soldiers from Linton’s 2 Engineer Regiment combine with Army Reserve soldiers in southern Taranaki to practice skills they’d need during deployments, or in cases of natural disaster.
Exercise MASADA is being held in Taranaki from 7 – 14 February and will combine soldiering skills with a variety of civil aid tasks.
“Working in Taranaki gives the soldiers an opportunity to train in unfamiliar territory and in this case they’ll also leave something worthwhile behind” says Maj Rowan Wallace.
The soldiers will be in Opunaki felling dangerous and obstructive trees, making walkways more accessible, rebuilding a retaining wall, and at the Hurleyville Playgroup they’ll lay a concrete pad for a new playground.
The public will get a chance to meet the soldiers, view their equipment and see them in action at the former Waverly High School on Thursday 12 Feb between 10:00am and 1:00pm.
New Zealand Army engineers are trained to the same NZQA standards as civilian tradesmen and have been involved in construction tasks around the world including Timor Leste, Afghanistan and throughout the Pacific.
The New Zealand Defence Force currently has 453 personnel deployed on 16 operations around the world.