Orion to remain in Gulf to support ongoing operations

  • Gerry Brownlee

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion aircraft will remain in the Gulf region for another 12 months to provide ongoing support to regional maritime operations.

“New Zealand has had a P3 Orion supporting international counter-piracy operations as part of the Combined Maritime Forces since earlier this year and that deployment is coming to a close,” Mr Brownlee says.

“The Orion has performed a valuable role that has been welcomed by our international partners.

“New Zealand has a long-held commitment to peace and security operations in the Middle East.

“As a trading nation we have a direct interest in ensuring that global shipping routes are protected from piracy and transnational crime.

“Our decision to extend the deployment of a P3 Orion to the Gulf until December 2015 is a reflection of the importance New Zealand attaches to multilateral security efforts,” Mr Brownlee says.

As part of a detachment to the United States Naval Forces Central Command the aircraft will contribute to a range of maritime security operations.