23 January 2016
The Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, arrived in Antarctica last night for a visit that will include meeting New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel providing logistical support to both the New Zealand and US Antarctic programmes.
The programme includes viewing Antarctica New Zealand operations at Scott Base and beyond, and visiting nearby McMurdo Station.
“This is a good chance to meet NZDF personnel involved in the Joint Logistics Pool – which supports both the New Zealand and United States Antarctic Programmes,” says LTGEN Keating.
“About 220 NZDF personnel every year are involved in the Antarctic operations.
“New Zealand has important sovereignty, security, economic, environmental and scientific interests in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.
“The country’s presence is maintained at Scott Base, and the Defence Force is an integral element in sustaining that presence.”
The visit will include a get-together with all NZDF personnel working on the ice.
The relationship between New Zealand and the United States benefits from the very good co-operation on logistics and science work that has existed for decades, says LTGEN Keating.
His programme also includes field training and viewing the US scientific operation at McMurdo Station. He is due back in New Zealand on 25 January.
For further information contact Defence Public Affairs: 021 487 980