INDEPENDENT NEWS

NZ Soldiers Return Home in Time for Christmas

Published: Mon 4 Dec 2006 10:02 AM
New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa
Media Release
Monday, December 4, 2006.
New Zealand Soldiers Return Home in Time for Christmas
After four months maintaining security in the Solomon Islands, a contingent of 42 New Zealand Defence Force men and women are preparing to return home to their loved ones.
They will arrive at Ohakea Air Force Base tomorrow evening to begin a well deserved break over the Christmas holiday period.
The Linton based platoon group have been serving with the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) since July.
Contingent commander Major Andrew Fortune said his platoon’s duties had included patrolling the countryside, assisting RAMSI police in downtown Honiara and helping with external security at Rove Prison.
“It’s been a busy and sometimes challenging deployment but our soldiers have conducted themselves professionally throughout and have maintained positive relationships with the local community.”
Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral Jack Steer said the contingent had played a vital role in ensuring the Solomon Islands remained safe and secure.
“Without the efforts of New Zealand soldiers and RAMSI, social and economic progress in the country would be much more difficult.”
New Zealand troops have contributed to security in the Solomon Islands since the creation of RAMSI in July 2003. They assist at the request of the Solomon Islands government.
ENDS
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is RAMSI?
The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) is a partnership between the government of the Solomon Islands and contributing Pacific nations, including New Zealand and Australia. It aims to ensure security and assists the Solomon Island’s people and government to develop the skills and institutions for successful self governance.
How long has New Zealand been contributing to RAMSI?
New Zealand has supported the RAMSI mission since July 2003 at the request of the Solomon Island’s government.
What do the New Zealand Troops do in the Solomon Islands?
The mission in the Solomon Islands requires strong infantry skills and an ability to get on well with the local people. The New Zealand Troops regularly liaise with locals, conduct patrols, provide assistance to police and help with external security at Rove Prison.
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ENDS

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