TE MANA at sunset off the Malaysian Coast.
Friday, 10 June 2011
The frigate TE MANA has undertaken exercises with the Indian Navy Ship INS KESARI in the Bay of Bengal.
TE MANA left Devonport Naval Base on 21 February on a five month deployment to Australia and Asia to exercise naval capability with Allies and partners in order to strengthen regional security and diplomatic links.
During the exercises with INS KESARI the crews practised boarding operations, communications, and manoeuvres and exchanged personnel.
"Exercising with an Indian warship is a valuable opportunity for the Navy,” said TE MANA’s Commanding Officer, Commander John Butcher. “It prepares us to operate effectively with Indian ships should the need arise, and it provides valuable experience for the crew.”
“While our visit is focused on building military links, New Zealand shares many common economic and political interests with India including the protection of shipping routes from piracy and being prepared to respond to humanitarian and disaster relief efforts at short notice.”
The exercises strengthen the links between the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Indian Navy. The Chief of the Indian Navy, Admiral Nirmal Verma, visited New Zealand in 2010, and RNZN ships have visited India on several occasions. India’s current High Commissioner to New Zealand, HE Admiral Sureesh Mehta, is a former Indian Chief of Naval Staff
INS KESARI is a modern Landing Ship capable of transporting 500 troops and 10 battle tanks. Displacing 5650 tonnes the KESARI carries a helicopter and can operate as a supply vessel.
TE MANA has now completed a visit to Port Blair, an Indian port in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. TE MANA will next visit ports in Indonesia, Vietnam and China, before returning to New Zealand in late June.
The Navy contributes to New Zealand’s security, economic prosperity and international interests
· Contributing to secure sea lines of communication - the trade routes on which 99% of NZ goods are transported
· Contributing to a stable international environment in the Pacific and wider region
· Building military, diplomatic and trade links with friends and neighbours
Please contact Lieutenant Sarah Campbell - Media Adviser- Navy on 021 244 0638 for further information.