A 70-strong contingent from 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1RNZIR) and supporting units departed for a six month deployment to Afghanistan on Sunday 11 September.
Nicole Barker says goodbye to her partner Trooper KC Job, who is holding the couple's four-week-old daughter Nataliah at Ohakea Air Force Base (20110911_OH_K1023900_0005).
The contingent was fare welled by Chief of Army Major General Tim Keating and family and friends at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea.
It was part of the nineteenth rotation to serve in the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZ PRT) in Bamiyan Province, and is led by Lieutenant Colonel Brett Wellington, Senior Military Advisor to the NZ PRT. The contingent was looking forward to getting over to Afghanistan and continuing the Defence Force's contribution to supporting Bamiyan as it progresses with transition, said LTCOL Wellington.
"Along with our partners in the NZ PRT we will continue to ensure that development and governance programmes are further developed, while maintaining security and assisting with improving the capabilities of the local Afghan Police Force.
"The mission will have its challenges, including the local culture, the climate and of course the threat from insurgents. I'm confident that our personnel are adequately trained and will work hard to get the job done. The training we have gone through as part of pre-deployment training is demanding and I'm confident our personnel are up to the challenge."
A further 70 Defence Force personnel who will also make up the nineteenth rotation will depart later in September.