16 March 2009
Another 44 mainly Territorial Force (TF) personnel will head to the Solomon Islands on Wednesday for a four month tour of duty.
The contingent, drawn largely from the 3rd Auckland Northland and 6th Hauraki Battalions, will be the ninth rotation to support the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
Operations such as RAMSI offer Reserve members of the Army the opportunity to take on the challenges that you would experience full-time in the Army and the civilian skills members bring are often invaluable when working with the local population.
Led by Major Richard Palmer, a self-employed TF officer from the 2nd Canterbury Nelson Marlborough West Coast Battalion, the Kiwis will carry out patrols, liaise with locals, provide assistance to police and help with external observation at Rove Prison.
The contingent will be farewelled by Commanding Officer of 3rd Auckland and Northland Regiment Lieutenant Colonel Chris Powell, and media are invited to attend.
When: 7.45am, Wednesday 18 March 2009
Where: Air Movements Terminal, Whenuapai Air Force Base
What: Departure of 44 personnel for a four month tour of duty in the Solomon Islands.
Media wishing to attend the departure must register with Capt Zac Prendergast, 021 806 926, before 1600 on Tuesday 17 March to ensure access is available. Photo identification will be required on the day.
The Territorial Force makes up a quarter of NZ Army’s personnel, and are a vital part of operations abroad. Territorial soldiers and officers have been active on New Zealand peacekeeping missions to Lebanon, Sinai, East Timor, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Bougainville, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Solomon Islands.
A platoon-sized group (30) of Reserves serve in Timor-Leste, five in Sinai, two in Korea and three are currently in Afghanistan.
Currently 718 New Zealand Defence Force personnel are deployed on 14 operations, UN missions and defence exercises around the world.