Hundreds of families and friends gathered on the wharf to welcome home the crew of HMNZS TE MANA that returned to Devonport today after hunting pirates counter-piracy operations. Mark Greening’s daughter gets to grips with daddy’s new beard.
12 March 2014
Navy frigate HMNZS TE MANA returned to Devonport Naval Base today fresh from efforts to keep the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin safe from pirates.
The frigate and 182 member crew has been away for seven months with a total of 91 days spent conducting counter-piracy operations for the Combined Maritime Forces Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) and NATO Operation Ocean Shield.
TE MANA took part in an intensive training period with elements of the Australian Defence Force before arriving off the coast of Somalia to conduct counter-piracy operations in late November.
Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating said the crew had proved they were ranked among the world’s best for such operations.
“The numbers achieved on this operation speak for themselves; 128 sorties flown since sailing from Auckland, 94 visits and boardings - 62 of which were for NATO, and four patrols.”
He acknowledged families and friends who have supported the crew and waited at home for their return.
“Our people could not do their job without your support.”
TE MANA’s Commanding Officer, Commander Shane Arndell, is proud of the work his crew has done on the world stage.
“Sending HMNZS TE MANA half way around the world is part of a global effort and shows New Zealand as an international citizen, playing our part. Through the presence of warships in the area the acts of piracy have dropped over the last few years and we are proud to be part of that.”
In Navy tradition TE MANA received a rousing ceremonial welcome greeted by the Chief of Defence Force, Chief of Navy and family and friends. A 17 gun salute from TE MANA was met by a return seven gun salute from shore.
For further information please contact Defence Communications Group – 021 487 980.
TE MANA and her sister ship TE KAHA are combat capable, and operate throughout the Asia Pacific region and globally to protect New Zealand’s interests. They are armed with a 5 inch gun, torpedoes, air defence missiles and close-in weapons systems for self defence. The frigates carry a SH2G Seasprite helicopter armed with air-to-surface missiles. Both frigates are to undergo a Platform and Combat systems upgrade over the next five years which will ensure they remain modern and combat capable.