Te Kaha Deploys To Assist In East TimorDefence
The Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jenny Shipley and the Minister of Defence, Hon Max Bradford, this morning announced the Government had agreed to deploy HMNZS Te Kaha to Darwin.
Te Kaha is currently heading for Darwin-East Timor waters and is expected to be in position in two or three days.
The Anzac frigate will assist the Australian Defence Force and elements of the Australian Navy should evacuation be necessary from East Timor, Mrs Shipley and Mr Bradford said.
"This is a precautionary move and one welcomed by the Australian Government," said Mrs Shipley.
Te Kaha has been exercising in the Fire Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) exercise STARDEX in Asia, and is due to be deployed in a few weeks to the Gulf as part of the MIF (Multilateral Interception Force).
"At this stage, we expect Te Kaha will be able to meet its objectives with the MIF, but in the meantime New Zealand has joined the Australian operation to assist in East Timor if it proves necessary," Mr Bradford said.