As the exercise moves north, the Navy’s HMNZS CANTERBURY comes to the rescue of the stranded New Zealand nationals off the coast of Marlborough sounds. The movement took a combined effort between the Army, Navy and other Agencies to help evacuate the people.
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Exercise Southern Katipo (SK15) is the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) major military exercise and occurs every two years. Personnel from New Zealand and eight other countries – Australia, Canada, Fiji, France, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, the United Kingdom, and the United States will participate in the month-long international exercise in the Buller, Tasman and Marlborough regions of the South Island.
The exercise aims to test and evaluate the NZDF’s ability to plan and conduct joint operations involving a range of naval, land and air assets from various nations.
The training scenario is set in a fictional South Pacific country called Becara, which is fighting for its political survival after being beset for years by rising poverty, massive unemployment and low foreign investor confidence. Two hostile groups are exploiting the government’s vulnerabilities and are jockeying for power. Following a request for assistance from the Becaran government, New Zealand has deployed a military contingent to lead a multinational Combined Joint Task Force that will help restore law and order in the South Pacific country. The multinational task force will be conducting stability, support and humanitarian operations, including the evacuation of internal displaced persons, as they strive to set the conditions for Becara’s economic and social recovery.