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Minister Farewells Troops To Solomon Islands

Posted on 18 Jul 2009

Associate Minister of Defence Hon Heather Roy today bid farewell to the personnel of the New Zealand Defence Force’s Operation Rata II, deploying from Ohakea Air Force Base to the Solomon Islands.

"I have every confidence that these servicemen and women are ready, willing and able to do the job that this country has asked of them," Mrs Roy said.

"While many of these personnel have already participated in operational service, for others this will be their first tour of duty.

"Together, they form an impressive combination of regulars and reservists showing the strength of our Defence Force by working as one - undertaking such duties as ROVE Prison external security, participating in the Quick Response Force, patrolling in a number and variety of settings, deploying to outposts, and providing protection and support to the Participating Police Force operations.

"Heartfelt thanks must also be given to the families and whanau who, with this deployment, are left with a gap in their lives. Without the contributions of those who serve at home, many in the Solomons would not be able to live in safety.

"Each one of these servicemen and women is a representative of our country and reputation. I know they will hold the flame of freedom high, and look forward to visiting them in theatre at the beginning of September," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

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