HMNZS Canterbury has arrived in Fiji with nearly 300 NZDF personnel, to conduct training for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief support in the Pacific and provide support to Republic of Fiji Military Forces’ training objectives.

Over the next two weeks Royal New Zealand Air Force No 3. Squadron will practise flying NH-90 and A-109 helicopters from both ship at sea and land in a tropical environment, RNZAF No. 230 Squadron will establish high frequency communications sites, and NZ Army personnel embarked on HMNZS Canterbury will test amphibious landing capabilities.

Colonel Mel Childs is the Commander of the Joint Task Group overseeing the exercise from the headquarters based at Blackrock Camp, Nadi. Blackrock Camp is a purpose built facility to enable Fijian and regional partners to train for peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

“Responding to disasters throughout the Pacific is a key role for the NZDF and we need to train as often as we can in order to deliver this critical capability when it’s needed”, Colonel Childs said.