The NZDF has personnel in Sinai, Egypt as part of the New Zealand Contingent Multinational Force and Observers.
Kiwi Base, Sinai.
Mission: Peace. The mission of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) is to supervise the implementation of the security provisions of the Egyptian-Israel Treaty of Peace.
The New Zealand contingent has been a member of the MFO since its inception on 25 April 1982. Participation by New Zealand originally took the form of Rotary Wing Air Support and subsequently evolved to its present form.
Current New Zealand participation strength is twenty-eight.
Primary tasks of the NZCMFO are to provide a transport section of twelve personnel to operate and drive vehicles as required by the Force and to provide a Training and Advisory Team (NZTAT) of eight personnel.
The NZTAT establishes, conducts, maintains and evaluates training courses based on MFO Standard Operating Procedures as well as providing driver training and MFO license qualifications testing.
Additionally the Contingent provides selected personnel for staff appointments within the Force and Contingent Headquarters. The Contingent is involved in a wide range of MFO activities from the soldier level within the Force logistics organisation to involvement in key staff roles and functions in the Force Headquarters.
On average the New Zealand drivers annually drive over 356,630 kilometres. The Sinai provides a particularly challenging driving environment that is unique in the world, so the skills of these professional drivers are tested on a daily basis. The knowledge and high standards they display in the operation of heavy lift vehicles are shared with other drivers within the Force transport organisation via an effective driver-training program.
The NZTAT Driving Instructors provide a high standard of customer service to Force units, consistently demonstrating flexibility, commitment and professionalism in accomplishing allotted tasks. On average, they annually train and test over 1,800 personnel from the eleven nations represented within the MFO. The operations instructors also train over 325 students and organize and conduct the biannual Force Skill at Arms competitions.
Complementing the achievements of the NZTAT and the driving section, New Zealand holds several other high profile Force Staff appointments. The Force Engineering Office (FEO) benefits greatly from the efforts of the two New Zealanders who fulfil the Facilities Engineer (North) and the Facilities Engineer Officer Remote Site (North) responsibilities. These efforts include assuming the duties as Force Engineering Officer to cover that officer 's absence. Another key appointment filled by New Zealand is that of the Force Commander's Military Assistant. A mixture of diplomacy and a firm understanding of the nature of the multinational environment are a necessity for this appointment.
The New Zealand Contingent also provides a Battle Captain in the Operations Branch, a Liaison Officer and the Clerk to the Liaison Branch. Also part of the Operations Branch, New Zealand contributes an Officer to fill the position of Deputy Chief of Operations (DCOP). He is responsible for the coordination of MFO operational activities and assumes the position of Chief of Operations during times of that officer's absence. The DCOP is also responsible for the conduct of Operational Readiness Checks and inspections that assist Force Units in maintaining an effective and efficient contribution to the MFO mission.
In mid-January 2017, the NZDF deployed a 35-member engineering team to build the perimeter fence in the MFO's South Camp.
On the 29th of March 1979 President Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Begin of Israel signed a historic Treaty of Peace between the two countries. The agreement saw Israel withdrawing over a phased period from the Sinai and the types and number of troops in the region specified.
The Treaty of Peace provided quite specific but nonetheless complex limitations on the levels of both Egyptian and Israeli military forces in the four Zones. The mission of the Multinational Force and Observers is to observe and verify compliance with, and to report any violations of, the limitations on military personnel and equipment that are set out in the Treaty of Peace.
About the MFO