NZDF trials beach-landing equipment overseas
The New Zealand Defence Force has successfully trialled some of its beach-landing equipment in an overseas environment for the first time.
CAPTION: The CAT938K with Faun Trackway on the front drives off a landingcraft on to Lomolomo Beach, Fiji. NZDF photo.
Operation Mahi Tahi has concluded recently in Fiji.
The operation, which involved military sealift vessel HMNZS Canterbury, trained personnel for humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief support in the Pacific, practising air, sea and amphibious training scenarios.
At Lomolomo Beach on Viti Levu, Canterbury’s landing craft first unloaded a Beach Preparation Extraction Vehicle (BPEV), which can be used to help prepare the beach by clearing any debris such as logs or boulders, smoothing it out for other vehicles to land ashore.
Amphibious Beach Team Commander from 5th Movements Company of the New Zealand Army Lieutenant Callum Wilkie said the BPEV could be fitted with a push plate to force the landing craft off the shoreline if it were to get stuck there, and also had a rear winch for land-vehicle recovery.
“From the landing craft the team can also operate a converted 20-tonne CAT938K loader, which can roll out a temporary trackway over soft sand, allowing light vehicles like the Pinzgauer truck or non-4WD vehicles to go ashore without getting stuck,” Lieutenant Wilkie said.
“Operation Mahi Tahi is about making sure that we are ready to assist in the Pacific if we need to respond to a humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief situation.
“Having this opportunity to deploy on the Canterbury to Fiji, has been a great chance for us to build up experience within the team and test the capability.
“We haven’t practised this type of amphibious landing for a while and this is the first time we’ve used both the BPEV and CAT938K overseas, so it’s really great to see it deployed here at Lomolomo Beach.”