HMNZS CANTERBURY in Tuvalu for Pacific Relief exercise (WN10-0138-005).
7 July 2010
Three hundred and fifty New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel are arriving this week in Tuvalu as part of Exercise Tropic Twilight.
Exercise Tropic Twilight is an annual exercise to a Pacific nation which is used to rehearse and improve the ability of the NZDF to respond to disasters within the South Pacific Region.
The exercise is also used as a means to deliver and support the NZAID South Pacific development programme by completing numerous medical, engineering and development tasks on the Island.
“Our people take great pride in being able to give something back to our Pacific Island neighbours. Exercise Tropic Twilight is a good opportunity for us to enhance cooperation and relationships in the Pacific,” says Lieutenant Colonel Todd Hart, Senior National Officer for the Exercise.
The large NZDF contingent deployed to Tuvalu include the Multi Role Vessel HMNZS CANTERBURY and crew, Air Force C-130 Hercules, Army Engineers, Army Medics and support personnel. Also taking part in the exercise is a Puma Helicopter and support crew courtesy of the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (Forces Armees De La Nouvelle-Caledonie - FANC).
“The NZDF trains for a wide spectrum of operational environments, from providing humanitarian aid like we're demonstrating here in Tuvalu, right up to preparing for conventional combat situations,” says Lt Col Hart.
“We need to train across this spectrum because while you can scale down the skill set required to conduct Humanitarian and Disaster Relief operations, it is not as easy to scale up.”
Exercise Tropic Twilight provides an excellent opportunity to exercise all three services of the NZDF in conjunction with other Government and Non-Government agencies alongside FANC who also have regional responsibilities.
The exercise is scheduled to conclude on the 17 July with all NZ forces returned when HMNZS CANTERBURY arrives back in Auckland on the 23rd of July.
For more information please contact Major Kristian Dunne, Senior Media Advisor (Army) on 04 496 0285 or 021 478 574.