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NZDF in Middle East anti-piracy role

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/02/2017

Dozens of New Zealand troops will head to the Middle East to combat piracy and people and drug trafficking.

The New Zealand Defence Force is sending a 55-member contingent to help a patrol 3.2 million square miles of international waters in the Middle East to support the US-led Combined Maritime Forces over the next year.

The first group of personnel left on Tuesday night, and the Air Force P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft will leave later this week.

This mission aims to protect trade routes around the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Major General Tim Gall said.

The last NZDF Orion mission supporting the CMF ran for 16 months.

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