New Zealanders join Tarin Khowt deployment

  • Wayne Mapp

Nine Defence Force staff are to undertake an eight-month deployment to Uruzgan province in Afghanistan, Defence Minister Wayne Mapp announced today.

Seven staff officers will fill planning and co-ordination roles with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in its provincial headquarters at Tarin Khowt base. They will be joined by two medical staff.

"New Zealand is working with our NATO/ISAF partners to build the capacity and security of the Afghani government and people. The deployment will build on our strong links with Australia," the Minister said.

"We have made similar deployments in the past. Two New Zealand medical specialists were deployed to the Multinational Medical Unit based in Kandahar in 2008 and 2009. It is specialist skills and experience such as this that our people will be bringing to Uruzgan.

"For a small nation we are making a substantial contribution. We are maintaining a strong presence leading the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan province. We redeployed the SAS in 2009 and have opened the first New Zealand Embassy in Kabul. We have recently strengthened our civilian assistance and development effort," he said.

The new deployment will start in September.