HMNZS Canterbury taking 700 New Zealand soldiers to US-Australian drill Talisman Sabre

NZ light armored vehicles are loaded on to HMNZS Canterbury in preparation for Talisman Sabre. Photo: Royal New Zealand Navy

Royal New Zealand Navy’s amphibious and military sealift vessel HMNZS Canterbury will be bringing a majority of the 700 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel to the U.S.-Australian exercise Talisman Sabre.

The Australian-hosted and United States-supported combined exercise starts on July 5 and runs for most of July.

New Zealand Navy units taking part include two NH90 helicopters and a Combined Arms Task Group together with HMNZS Canterbury.

“This is the second time the NZDF have been invited to participate in this exercise,” Commander Joint Forces, Major General Tim Gall, said. “It allows our Navy, Army and Air Force the opportunity to work alongside our allies and partners, focusing on our interoperability on the land, sea and in the air and testing real-world, multi-national scenarios.”

Taking place in 20 locations around Australia and involving up to 34,000 participants, Talisman Sabre provided an essential training opportunity for the NZDF, Major General Gall said.

On top of the more than 700 personnel deploying, equipment from across the NZDF will also be used during the Australian Defence Force’s largest training exercise of the year.

The Royal New Zealand Navy’s HMNZS Canterbury will transport much of the NZDF contingent, including two Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) NH90 helicopters and 24 New Zealand Army light armoured vehicles. It will also transport 41 medium heavy operational vehicles and 28 light operational vehicles from the Army and RNZAF and an Army high mobility engineers excavator.

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