The New Zealand Defence Force has launched a new exercise series – Joint Waka – aimed at enhancing its offshore deployment ability to deal with contingencies including humanitarian crisis, natural disasters, and regional instability.
CAPTION: The New Zealand Defence Force personnel on Exercise Joint Waka in the Canterbury district.
The first of the Joint Waka 16 series wraps up today after starting on Monday.
It involved around 120 Navy personnel and 100 soldiers.
Key activities over the four days included a beach landing and assault training.
Exercise Director Colonel Martin Dransfield said the NZDF already had the ability to deploy a combined force offshore and had demonstrated that capability in numerous operations overseas such as the response to the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu in March 2015.
“What Joint Waka aims to do is tie in with our main exercise, Southern Katipo, to further enhance the NZDF’s amphibious capability,” Colonel Dransfield said.
“Joint Waka also further enhances the integration of Navy and Army personnel when they deploy on operations overseas.
“When deploying overseas, one option available to the NZDF is the deployment of land forces, including personnel, vehicles and equipment by sea, on the sealift and amphibious support vessel HMNZS Canterbury.
“Our goal is to ensure that all these capabilities are projected offshore as a joint force.”