13 February 2009
Quick thinking, rapid deployment, and military ceremony are what await Territorial Force soldiers as they gather in Napier for their annual week of intensive field exercise.
'Exercise Mono Island' is the Territorial Force annual field exercise that will bring together Reservist soldiers from across the lower North Island to enhance their skills and train them toward deploying overseas.
Operating from Roys Hill near Napier, the soldiers will conduct foot and vehicle patrolling, cordon and search operations, vehicle checkpoints and small attacks on isolated locations. They will also learn how to use the Army’s specialist radios for communication and travel in Unimogs.
"Exercise Mono Island will challenge the territorial soldier in the same way that they would be challenged in any deployment,” says Colonel Jon Broadley, Deputy Commander for the 2nd Land Force Group.
"This will enable them to fully prepare for participation in deployments that the Army is involved in such as the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), Afghanistan, or Timor Leste.”
The week long exercise will culminate in a parade through Napier as part of the annual Art Deco week celebrations on Saturday 21 February. Medals will be presented by the Chief of Navy Rear Admiral David Ledson to Territorial Force soldiers for long service and serving on operations.
The New Zealand Defence force has 44 troops - predominately Territorial Force - in the Solomon Islands at the request of the Solomon Islands government, and is working alongside other supporting nations, including Australia, Fiji, Tonga and Papua New Guinea.
Currently 488 New Zealand Defence Force personnel are deployed on 16 operations, UN missions and defence exercises around the world, in places such as Antarctica, Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands, and Korea.
Media wishing to attend any of the training activities must register with Defence Communications Advisor, Paul Stein, telephone 06 351 9037 or 021 409 033.