HMNZS CANTERBURY returns home from a three-month deployment
HMNZS CANTERTBURY and her Ship's Company have arrived home after a three-month deployment to Exercise RIMPAC in Hawaii and Exercise Croix du Sud in New Caledonia.
The heavy-lift ship left Auckland on 3 June, returning on 9 September.
NZDF contributed 256 staff in total to the US-led RIMPAC, made up of HMNZS CANTERBURY with embarked SH-2G Seasprite helicopter, Mine Counter Measures Team, Operational Dive Team, a P3K-2 Orion aircraft, a light infantry platoon, and Headquarters staff and augmentees. RIMPAC is the world’s biggest maritime military exercise, with 23 nations participating this year.
Croix du Sud is a French Armed Forces of New Caledonia-sponsored joint and combined Field Training Exercise, conducted biennially in New Caledonia.
As well as HMNZS CANTERBURY, the ships which took part were FS VENDEMIAIRE (which earlier this year underwent extensive maintenance at Devonport Naval Base), FS LA GLORIEUSE, HMAS LABUAN, HMAS TARAKAN, RVS TUKORO (Vanuatu) and VOEA PANGAI (Tonga).
Other NZDF participants included Army soldiers and members of the Littoral Warfare Support Force.
Exercise Croix du Sud provides the opportunity for relevant and realistic multinational training in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), and Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO).
Photo: HMNZS CANTERBURY arriving at Devonport Naval Base on 9 September.
Navy seeking replacement tanker for HMNZS ENDEAVOUR
Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman has announced Government approval for the NZDF to seek a replacement for the Navy's replenishment tanker HMNZS ENDEAVOUR. ENDEAVOUR is able to refuel our ships and ships of other navies on the high seas but will reach the end of its service life in 2018.
The proposed replacement will have many more capabilities, including the ability to store a much larger amount of fuel (including aviation fuel), store supplies and ammunition, and accommodate an NH90 or Seasprite helicopter. Other possible features being considered could enable the tanker to resupply bases in Antarctica.
The request for tender is expected to be issued by the Ministry of Defence in early 2015. A final recommendation will be made to Cabinet in mid-2016.
Read the minister's statement in full.