27 July 2014
Around 260 New Zealand troops are on a 25-day Australian-led warfighting exercise in Townsville, Northern Queensland.
“Exercise Hamel is a biennial military exercise that the Australian Army has led for a number of years now. The NZ Army sent personnel across to participate in 2010 and 2012, and we’re pleased to be back in 2014. This exercise tests our soldiers’ collective warfighting skills and enhances their ability to operate in a coalition environment,” said Colonel (COL) Nick Gillard, Commander of the New Zealand’s Army’s 1 Brigade.
COL Gillard said that this year’s exercise aimed to develop and test Australian Defence Force information gathering capability together with elements of the NZ Army, US Army and the US Marine Corps. The US also participated in 2012.
“In any combat operation, having good information and the same information is crucial for commanders to make the right decisions. This exercise gives our soldiers the opportunity to refine their training alongside friendly partners,” he explained.
The NZ Army’s participation in Exercise Hamel also reinforces the close relationship between the Australian Defence Force and the New Zealand Defence Force.
“Exercises such as Hamel enhance our ability to operate in a combined and joint environment,” according to Col Gillard.
“It also enables NZ Army personnel to maintain their combat-readiness in all types of terrain and environment, and to gain further experience in operating as part of a large force.”