21 August 2012
Fallen soldiers Corporal Luke Tamatea, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker and Private Richard Harris will be farewelled in a ramp ceremony at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan this evening.
A Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules, with escorts from the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT), will transport New Zealand’s fallen soldiers to meet up with an Australian Defence Force A-340 for the journey to Australia.
A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules, with escorts from 2nd/1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, and 2nd Health Support Battalion, will then bring CPL Tamatea, LCPL Baker and PTE Harris on the last leg of the journey back to New Zealand.
A final ramp ceremony will be held in Christchurch on Thursday. Timings may be subject to change as a result of Air Force operational commitments.
"The New Zealand Defence Force acknowledges the close support and co-operation of the Australian Defence Force in bringing our fallen home," says Lieutenant General Rhys Jones.
"We have received a great many offers of support and expressions of condolence from our friends in the wider international military community, which I would also like to acknowledge."
Military ramp ceremony for CPL Tamatea, LCPL Baker and PTE Harris
Where: Harewood Terminal Christchurch Airport
When: Thursday 23 August - timing to advised
Media are invited to attend the ramp ceremony but must abide by the following restrictions:
Media need to arrive in advance at Harewood Terminal Christchurch Airport in order to set up. Photographic ID is required.
Media must stand where directed.
Filming/photographing of the families is restricted, please refrain from showing extreme close ups of grieving family members.
Only NZ Army spokespeople identified on the day will be permitted to give interviews.
Media need to register with Defence Communications on 021 487 980 by 10am on Thursday, in order to be informed of timings.
NZ Defence Force personnel wounded in action on 4 August 2012
The NZ Defence Force can confirm that all personnel wounded in the incident in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan on 4 August 2012 have returned home to New Zealand.
Three personnel remain in hospital receiving ongoing treatment. All six personnel continue to receive ongoing care and support from the NZ Defence Force.
The Defence Force is not facilitating any media interviews with these personnel at this time.