May 20, 2013
The New Zealand Royal Navy and New Zealand Royal Air Force will continue to contribute efforts to support that international anti-piracy mission taking place off the eastern coast of Africa. New vessels and aircraft will arrive in 2013 and 2014, according to New Zealand Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman.
New Zealand conducts significant amount of trade in the Sea of Oman, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian ocean. Last year, trade in the area accounted for $7 billion USD, which accounts for 7.5% of New Zealand’s international trade.
Because the threat of piracy continues, the country has a direct interest in protecting vessels that travel these waters.
The New Zealand Defence Force plans to send the HMNZS Te Mana to join the international task for combatting piracy in the region. This frigate will join the task force for three monthg, and a P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft will also join the force for three months in mid-2014.
New Zealand contributed one frigate to the international effort back in 2008, and has attached staff officers to coalition forces since then.
Coleman elaborated that his country “will also provide staff officers for the CMF task force command for two periods of three months each, one in 2013 and 2014. Six officers will be attached from mid-2013, and up to 14 staff officers will command a task force from 2014. Three Navy personnel will also deploy with the Australian frigate HMAS Melbourne.”