HMNZS Te Mana Strengthens Engagement in Asia-Pacific
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has deployed Royal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS Te Mana - F111 to the Asia-Pacific over the next six months, as it seeks to strengthen engagement with countries in the region.
Commander Lisa Hunn, the Commanding Officer of Te Mana, said the ship would take part in several international exercises as part of its deployment.
“Participating in joint military exercises provides great training opportunities for the ship’s crew members and also helps build trust through cooperation with other regional military forces,” she said.
In the first stage of the deployment HMNZS Te Mana, with more than 300 NZDF personnel and three aircraft, will take part in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, the world’s largest international maritime exercise, which will be held around Hawaii and southern California from 27 June to 2 August.
During the exercise Te Mana will form part of Task Force 176, under a New Zealand-led Sea Combat Command staff on the Royal Australian Navy landing helicopter dock ship HMAS Adelaide, and work alongside other international navies.
This year’s exercise will involve 26 nations, 52 ships and submarines, 18 national land forces, more than 200 aircraft and about 25,000 personnel.
Major General Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said Te Mana’s deployment was a great opportunity to strengthen engagement with maritime forces in the region and to enhance linkages with non-traditional security partners.
“It also reflects New Zealand’s continued interest in the region, as well as its commitment to its security and stability,” Major General Gall said after the send-off at Devonport Naval Base this morning.
Last year the NZDF sent HMNZS Te Kaha, Te Mana’s sister ship, to the Asia-Pacific for six months to conduct training and defence diplomacy activities.
Photo -Royal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS Te Mana sails for a six-month deployment to the Asia-Pacific region (Mon 11 Jun.).
She's got a name and now she has a badge...
The sheer number of entries, and their quality, were the things that impressed RADM Martin the most. “It was wonderful that so many New Zealanders cared so much about our new ship that they wanted to submit a design,” he said.
The Ship’s Names & Badges committee convened to review the over 250 designs received. They had no details of the designers so their selection was completely impartial. The panel reduced the submissions down to a top 10 which were given to the Chief of Navy in December to make the final decision.
“My design criteria was very clear,” said RADM Martin. “I asked for designs that were simple yet striking, reflective of the role of the ship and uniquely New Zealand. While I had no idea who submitted the designs, Steven’s immediately stood out. The fish hook elegantly blended the Maori legend of Aotearoa’s origin with the replenishment role that the ship will be responsible for.”
“Dividing the sea and sky, I saw the white band representing both a long white cloud and an ice shelf – very appropriate given the importance of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica to New Zealand. For a number of reasons this design was an obvious choice for me.
I was genuinely surprised that the winner was one of Navy’s own and I’m thrilled for him.”
Steven’s winning badge design will now form the basis of the formal ship badge.
When HMNZS Aotearoa is commissioned into service in early 2020 she will not only be the new maritime sustainment vessel and fleet tanker but will also enhance combat operational capability, provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief and support monitoring operations in the Southern Ocean.
“I know New Zealanders will be as proud of her as the whole of the Navy will be when she arrives,” said RADM Martin.
Steven works at the Devonport Naval Base as Project Manager responsible for the Inshore Patrol Vessels upkeep and maintenance.
For more information visit www.aotearoa.mil.nz