16 July 2009
Another 44, mainly Territorial Force (TF), personnel will head to the Solomon Islands on Saturday for a four month tour of duty.
The contingent, drawn largely from the 7th Wellington Hawke’s Bay Battalion, will be the tenth rotation to support the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
Operations such as RAMSI offer Reserve members of the Army the opportunity to take on challenges they would experience full-time in the Army; and the civilian skills members bring are often invaluable when working with the local population.
Led by Major Stuart Brown, the Kiwis will carry out patrols, liaise with locals, provide assistance to police and help with external observation at Rove Prison.
The contingent will be farewelled by Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Air Vice-Marshal Peter Stockwell and Associate Minister of Defence Heather Roy. Media are invited to attend.
When: 9.45am, Saturday 18 July 2009
Where: Gymnasium, RNZAF Base Ohakea
What: Departure of 44 personnel for a four month tour of duty in the Solomon Islands.
Media wishing to attend the departure must register with Paul Stein, 021 409 033, before noon on Friday 17 July to ensure access is available. Photo identification will be required on the day.
Territorial soldiers and officers have been active on New Zealand peacekeeping missions to Lebanon, Sinai, East Timor, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Bougainville, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Solomon Islands.
Currently 509 New Zealand Defence Force personnel are deployed on 14 operations, UN missions and defence exercises around the world.