New Zealand increases training support for Ukraine

The New Zealand government has announced an extension to its support in training Ukrainian recruits and provided additional funding for further military assistance.

FILE PHOTO: A New Zealand soldier supervises a training scenario for recruits from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as part of New Zealand’s Operation Tīeke in the United Kingdom. Photo supplied.

This evolved mandate, which extends to June 2025, will see up to 97 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel conduct specialised training in Europe from July this year in combat-casualty care, combat engineering, leadership and maritime-explosive-ordnance-disposal training.

NZDF personnel have trained more than 2700 AFU infantry recruits since contributions to the UK-based programme began in June 2022.

An artillery training team was the first on the ground, followed by infantry training groups.

NZDF’s sixth rotation of personnel to deliver infantry training is currently in the UK.

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour said more than 500 NZDF personnel had been deployed under the NZDF’s Operation Tīeke, while many others had also supported those deployments from New Zealand.

“NZDF trains to be ready to deploy when the government asks us to,’’ Rear Admiral Gilmour said.

“Operation Tīeke centres on supporting Ukraine in their time of need.

“The New Zealand government’s announcement of an extension to our mandate sees this support continue and with further specialist teams putting their skills to the fore to help Ukraine with their fight.’’

New Zealand is among 10 nations contributing to infantry training of AFU recruits in the UK.

Personnel work alongside Ukrainian interpreters, sharing their knowledge to deliver a basic infantry course which covers the skills needed to survive on the battlefield.

Land Component Commander Brigadier Matt Weston said this training ensured AFU personnel were combat ready.

“The volunteer Ukrainian recruits arrive with little to no military experience and, after five weeks of training, they leave as soldiers.”

Brigadier Weston said NZDF personnel were pleased to contribute their skills to the training mission.

“As our personnel help prepare Ukrainians for the realities they will face in war, they are also increasing their connections with partner nations and growing their professional skills to best support those they are working with and alongside,” he said.

“NZDF involvement in the international effort to help Ukraine defend itself reinforces us as a trusted and globally integrated force ready to operate across the spectrum of operations, from humanitarian assistance to armed conflict.’’

In the two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2021, NZDF has regularly deployed specialist teams to the UK and Europe as part of the international community’s support of Ukraine’s self-defence.

This support has included intelligence, logistics and personnel assisting with efforts to coordinate donated military aid.






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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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