NZDF Begins Summer Season in Antarctica

November 14, 2019 – The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has begun its annual support to Antarctica, with more than 200 personnel from all three Services being deployed over the summer season. The NZDF has been involved in Antarctica since 1955, supporting New Zealand’s contribution to international efforts to improve scientific knowledge and safeguard the pristine environment. Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour said New Zealand had important interests in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. “By providing skilled people and advanced military equipment, we’re able to contribute…

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New Zealand Updates P-8A Plans

June 12, 2019 – Defence Minister Ron Mark has detailed further progress on refreshing the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s aircraft fleets at Whenuapai Air Base today. This follows yesterday’s release of the Coalition Government’s Defence Capability Plan 2019, and the announcement of the C-130J-30 Super Hercules as the preferred option to replace the aging Hercules fleet. “Last year the Coalition Government decided to buy four P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The P-8s are a once in a generation purchase, and will ensure that the Air Force’s crucial maritime patrol capability is…

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NZDF Inspects 23 Vessels in Multi-National Patrols

September 5, 2018 – The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) inspected 23 foreign-flagged fishing vessels on the high seas as part of joint maritime patrols it conducted recently with three other countries. Major General Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Otago and a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft supported the maritime surveillance operation with the three other member-countries of the Quadrilateral Defence Coordination Group (QUAD) – Australia, France and the United States. In this year’s operation, fishing vessels were inspected…

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New Zealand announces P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions

September 7, 2018 – Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, and Minister of Defence Ron Mark, have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. “New Zealand is firmly committed to an enduring peace on the Korean Peninsula. We welcome the recent dialogue North Korea has had with the United States and South Korea. However, until such time as North Korea abides by its international…

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New Zealand to buy four P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft

The coalition Government has agreed to purchase four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from the United States Government.  The four aircraft will replace the aging six P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft that have been operated by the Royal New Zealand Air Force since the 1960s. The current Orion fleet will reach the end of their expected operational life in 2025. “The purchase ensures the Defence Force can continue to deliver the country’s maritime surveillance, resource protection, humanitarian and disaster response around New Zealand and across the South Pacific,” says…

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Strategic Defence Policy Statement 2018 Launched

Minister of Defence Ron Mark has today announced the release of the Review of Defence Procurement Policies and Practices for Major Capability Projects. The report, prepared by Sir Brian Roche as the independent reviewer, has found that Defence has a robust procurement system, and has made strong inroads with embedding a new way of working. “In early 2018, Cabinet agreed to review Defence procurement,” says Ron Mark. “In opposition I was a huge critic of Defence procurement. A view that was reinforced when my first act as Minister was dealing…

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RNZAF Orion and Crew Busy on Multiple Fronts in South West Pacific

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has sent a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P-3K2 Orion aircraft and crew to carry out multiple tasks in the South West Pacific over the next five days. The Orion has been sent to deliver mail to Raoul Island, survey signs of activity from an underwater volcano, and conduct maritime surveillance patrols in support of Pacific Island nations. The crew will also brief officials in Niue about the NZDF’s maritime surveillance and search and rescue operations in the region. “This is a perfect…

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Monument to be unveiled in Fiji for RNZAF flying boat veterans

A commemorative monument is to be unveiled in Fiji on Friday to recognise the service of veterans from the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF) flying boat operations based at Laucala Bay, from 1941 to 1967. RNZAF’s №5 Squadron conducted anti-submarine patrols, maritime reconnaissance and transport and air-sea rescue missions, flying Short Singapore, Consolidated Catalina and Short Sunderland aircraft. The monument, designed and made in Fiji, will be unveiled by Fiji Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama and New Zealand Defence Minister Ron Mark at the University of the South…

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Australia-New Zealand Indian Ocean operation nets AUD$274 million in heroin

HMAS Warramunga’s crew has conducted one of the largest drug seizures in Operation MANITOU’s history as part of the Australian-led Combined Task Force 150. In a joint counter-narcotics operation, the Royal Australian Navy and the New Zealand Defence Force seized 915 kilograms of heroin valued in excess of AUD$274 million. A Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 aircraft detected a suspicious vessel in the Western Indian Ocean on 23 January 2018, which was boarded and investigated by the crew in Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Warramunga on 24 January. Over the past two months Warramunga’s crew…

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New NZDF Security Mission in the Middle East

February 17, 2017 – The New Zealand Defence Force has sent a 55-member contingent and an Air Force P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft to the Middle East as part of an international partnership against piracy and people and drug trafficking. The team will help patrol 3.2 million square miles of international water in the Middle East to support the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) over the next 12 months. “Through this mission, we will help protect vital trade routes around the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean and demonstrate once again…

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RNZAF Orion Leaves for Middle East to Help Counter Piracy and Trafficking

February 10, 2017 – The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) sent a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft this morning to the Middle East to join an international partnership against piracy and people and drug trafficking. Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies, the Chief of Air Force, farewelled Wing Commander Daniel Hunt, the mission’s commander, and the air crew at RNZAF Base Auckland. Most of the members of a 55-strong NZDF supporting contingent left earlier this week. The NZDF team will help patrol 3.2 million square miles of…

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