The Royal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS TE MANA is ready to join NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield today, which will be the second time that a partner nation has contributed to NATO’s counter-piracy efforts after Ukraine.
NATO welcomed the offer to contribute to the operation from the New Zealand Government in an exchange of formal correspondence on Tuesday, 21 January 2014.
New Zealand’s Defence Minister, Dr. Jonathan Coleman stressed that “participating in NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield is a good opportunity for the New Zealand Defence Force to test its interoperability with contributing NATO nations. This deployment is an example of New Zealand’s commitment to playing our part in supporting NATO in areas of common interest.”
HMNZS TE MANA arrived off the coast of Somalia mid December, 2013 to conduct counter-piracy operations as part of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151).
Naval Today Staff, January 23, 2014; Image: NATO