‘Well done’ to NZDF personnel

Defence Minister Ron Mark has congratulated the NZDF on the involvement of a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft and Kiwi personnel in seizing about NZ$300 million worth of heroin in the Western Indian Ocean earlier this week.

Surveillance information from the Orion enabled the Australian frigate HMAS Warramunga to intercept a fishing boat carrying 915kg of heroin, and New Zealand sailors in exchange postings on Warramunga were at the helms of the two seaboats carrying the ship’s boarding parties during the operation.

“This operation was an unqualified success, involving seamless collaboration between our aircraft and the Royal Australian Navy frigate,” Mr Mark said.

“Our personnel have clearly done an outstanding job in the air and on the water. I congratulate them, and their Australian colleagues, and thank them for their hard work in a tough environment.

“Whatever their role is, they train intensely and prepare for these tasks in a variety of ways. This is where that all pays off.

“A result like this proves the worth of our deployment in support of the Combined Maritime Forces. The high-end surveillance capability of our P-3K2 aircraft is a vital weapon in the fight against terrorism and crime. It is one of New Zealand’s most important contributions to international security.

“Successes like this interception hit terrorists where it hurts, by depriving them of funds for their deadly activities, and also stops these drugs getting onto the streets where they ruin lives.

“Well done, everyone involved.”