Friday, 10 May 2013

NZ ship to help combat overseas piracy

 HMNZS Te Mana is heading to the Gulf of Aden

A navy frigate is again being sent to the Gulf of Aden, near Africa and the Middle East to help combat piracy.

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says HMNZS Te Mana will join the international Combined Maritime Force (CMF) in November for a three-month deployment after a work-up period in Australia.

It will deploy with the Australian frigate HMAS Melbourne, before heading to the Gulf of Aden which is between Yemen and Somalia.

From the middle of next year, an air force Orion maritime patrol aircraft will join the CMF for three months.
"Piracy in the Gulf of Aden Indian Ocean region affects all countries with shipping trade going through the Suez Canal," Dr Coleman said.

"New Zealand has a direct interest in supporting the maritime security taskforce and protecting shipping lanes, with a large volume of our trade carried by shipping."

The CMF is a naval partnership of 27 nations.

It operates across 2.5 million square miles of international waters and includes the main shipping routes from the Far East to Europe and the United States.

A New Zealand frigate was part of the operation in 2008, and in 2010 navy captain Jim Gilmour commanded a counter-piracy taskforce

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