15 September 2016
One hundred and twenty New Zealand Defence Force personnel are heading to Malaysia to take part in vital training in a tropical environment.
A light infantry company group of the New Zealand Army will spend a week training with personnel from the 25 Royal Malay Regiment (25RMR) in Bentong for exercise Taiaha Tombak.
Land Component Commander, Brigadier Mike Shapland, said the warm-weather training was essential.
“The exercise exposes our people to living and working in a South-East Asian tropical environment and a variety of terrain,” he said. “It also enhances our relationship with the Malaysian Armed Forces.
“Often when we are deployed for humanitarian aid and disaster relief it is in the Pacific Islands or Asia, so the training means our men and women know what they will encounter when it is for real.”
The New Zealand Army has been taking part in Taiaha Tombak since the 1980s, as part of a programme to enhance light infantry capability. A reciprocal exercise is held in New Zealand on alternate years.
Concurrently 26 New Zealand Army Staff Officers will be participating in Exercise Suman Warrior, a Five Power Defence Arrangement planning exercise at Brigade level that is also being held in Malaysia.
In Suman Warrior, New Zealand Army and Australian Defence Force personnel join in an Anzac Battalion Headquarters to practise command and staff procedures in combined and joint operations.
New Zealand Defence Force personnel participating in both exercises will return to New Zealand in early October.