Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Defence
22 November 2005
SAS troops return from Afghanistan
Defence Minister Phil Goff welcomed home New Zealand Special Air Service personnel who returned from Afghanistan early
The SAS has concluded its third rotation undertaking reconnaissance and direct action missions. Around 50 personnel were
involved in the six-month deployment.
"The SAS have played an important role in the multilateral engagement mandated by the United Nations Security Council to
counter terrorism and to restore stability to Afghanistan," Mr Goff said.
"Their presence, together with other international forces, has been critical both to constrain the influence of Al Qaeda
and Taliban elements and to allow nation-building and reconstruction to take place.
"New Zealand forces, both SAS and those serving with the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan, have helped ensure a
fair and credible democratic process for the first-ever elections to the Afghanistan Parliament, which took place in
"Our SAS personnel are regarded as being among the best in the field by other coalition forces. I thank them for their
commitment and professionalism, of which New Zealand can be proud.
"I also acknowledge the families of those involved and the sacrifice they make in being separated from their loved
ones," Mr Goff said.
All Phil Goff’s media releases and speeches are posted at www.beehive.govt.nz