10 November 2013
Combat-ready troops from the New Zealand-led ‘League of Pacific Nations’ task force land in Timaru as part in Exercise Southern Katipo 2013
A 10-nation military exercise provides the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) with a unique opportunity to enhance its core skills in planning, coordinating and controlling forces and operations.
“The simulated scenarios unfolding in this exercise mirror the kinds of situations that NZDF personnel face when deployed to respond to a variety of contingencies,” said Royal New Zealand Navy Commander Peter Kempster, Chief of Staff of Exercise Southern Katipo 2013.
“Over the next three weeks, we will be carrying out the kinds of activities that help the NZDF maintain and develop operationally prepared forces,” he added.
The exercise’s training scenario is set in a fictional South West Pacific country – Mainlandia – teetering on the brink of an ethnic-fuelled civil war. HMNZS CANTERBURY and military transport planes carrying some 450 combat-ready troops from the ten participating nations arrived simultaneously in Mainlandia early on Saturday to help quell the escalating ethnic violence and restore stability.
The ‘players’ in the exercise have no advance details of the scenarios and are drawing up military strategies and deciding on tactical manoeuvres in real time.
The joint exercise – which involves three ships and up to 18 aircraft and 2200 personnel – also presents a huge logistical challenge to both exercise planners and ‘players’.
“The outcome of the exercise will enable military planners to assess the NZDF’s progress towards developing the capability to mount a medium-scale amphibious operation that involves air, land and maritime assets by 2015,” explained Commander Kempster.
“The exercise also provides an opportunity for the NZDF to enhance its ability to work with our coalition partners, particularly those from the Pacific region.”
For more information, please contact NZDF Senior Media Adviser Squadron Leader Lyn Coromandel on 021 420 899