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NZDF given command role in RIMPAC

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/06/2016

The theme of RIMPAC 2016 is "Capable, Adaptive, Partners" with participants undertaking wide-ranging exercises including amphibious operations, gunnery, anti-submarine as well as counter-piracy. © Getty Images The theme of RIMPAC 2016 is "Capable, Adaptive, Partners" with participants undertaking wide-ranging exercises including amphibious operations, gunnery, anti-submarine as well as counter-piracy. New Zealand will be commanding an amphibious taskforce this year during the world's largest international maritime exercise held around the Hawaiian Islands.

More than 200 aircraft, along with 45 ships, five submarines and 25,000 personnel from 27 nations will be taking part in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise between June 30 and August 4.

Royal New Zealand Navy Commodore Jim Gilmour will be leading the amphibious task force of 13 ships.

"We are training and working with our allies and friends," Cdre Gilmour said.

"All these different nations coming together creates a valuable opportunity to exercise a wide range of capabilities, from disaster response to maritime security operations and sea control involving complex warfighting."

New Zealand will be sending RNZN frigate HMNZS Te Kaha as well as air surveillance and reconnaissance forces, a littoral warfare unit, a command task force as well as the light rifle platoon.

The theme of RIMPAC 2016 is "Capable, Adaptive, Partners" with participants undertaking wide-ranging exercises including amphibious operations, gunnery, anti-submarine as well as counter-piracy.

New Zealand, along with Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, was one of the founders of the RIMPAC exercises which were first held in 1971 but withdrew after the ANZUS nuclear ship dispute in the 1980s.

The NZDF attended as an observer in 2010 before becoming a full participant again in 2012 and 2014.

In addition to the RIMPAC exercises, nine NZDF personnel have joined a US naval hospital ship for a multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The team will visit Timor-Leste, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia over the next four months.

NATIONS TAKING PART IN RIMPAC 2016

* Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peoples Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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