NZ Defence Force personnel heading to Middle East

The contingent will take an RNZAF Hercules.
The contingent will take an RNZAF Hercules.

A contingent of 30 NZ Defence Force personnel is heading to the Middle East for a short-term deployment in support of New Zealand, Australian and coalition operations in the region.

The detachment and an RNZAF Hercules are being deployed until mid-June at the request of the Australian Defence Force and will operate as part of its Air Mobility Task Group.

The Commander Joint Forces NZ, Major-General Tim Gall, says the Hercules' primary task is to transport people, equipment and supplies in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan and the Sinai Peninsula.

He says the deployment will provide additional capacity during a period of high operational tempo.

The detachment includes aircraft technicians, logistics specialists, maintenance personnel and an Air Movements Load Team.

It is the second time an RNZAF air transport team has been deployed to the Middle East in the past 12 months.