23 March 2009
More than forty New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will arrive home on Wednesday after a four month deployment supporting the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands.
They will be greeted at Christchurch International Airport by Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Major General Rhys Jones, RNZRSA Canterbury District President Mr Pat Duggan, and their family and friends.
The majority of the personnel are made up of Territorial Force soldiers from the 2nd Canterbury Nelson Marlborough West Coast and 4th Otago Southland regiments.
They had the added experience of catching up with some of their employers who travelled to the Solomon Islands last week to see them at their ‘other job’ during 'Exercise Boss Lift'.
The Kiwis have worked alongside Australian, Tongan and Papua New Guinean military personnel and police during their time in the Islands to maintain security and stability in the region.
They have been replaced by the ninth rotation of NZDF personnel who arrived in theatre earlier this week.
Operations such as RAMSI offer TF members 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.
The main body will return to Christchurch International Airport on Wednesday 25 March. Media are invited to attend.
When: 5.25pm, Wednesday 25 March 2009
Where: Christchurch International Airport
What: Arrival of NZDF personnel from a four month deployment in the Solomon Islands.
Media wishing to attend the arrival must register with Jane Mortlock, 021 224 8658 by 12pm on Wednesday 25 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.