|NZDF personnel and equipment come ashore in Akaroa Harbour during an amphibious landing, as part of Exercise Southern Katipo 2013.|
November 20, 2015 - More than 2,000 military personnel from New Zealand and eight other countries will take part in a month-long international exercise hosted by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) starting this week in the South Island.
Exercise Southern Katipo 15 (SK15) aims to test and evaluate the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) ability to plan and conduct joint operations involving a range of naval, land, and air assets. It also involves military personnel from Australia, Canada, Fiji, France, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
“Unlike previous iterations of this exercise, we are treating SK15 as one of several operations that we manage and supervise,” said Major General Tim Gall, Commander Joint Forces New Zealand.
“This approach is more realistic because if an emergency arose in the Southwest Pacific now, that will be exactly how things will play out,” he added.
Run every two years, SK15 is being held this year in the Buller, Tasman, and Marlborough districts in the South Island.
The exercise scenario sees New Zealand deploying a military contingent to lead a multinational Combined Joint Task Force that will help restore law and order in a fictional South Pacific country called Becara. The multinational task force will conduct stability, support and humanitarian operations, including the evacuation of internally displaced people.
“In SK15, we will be dealing with challenges that commanders have to grapple with in real-world operations such as exercising command and control over units that are operating in remote areas.
“Our personnel are well-trained and ready to respond to any crisis at home or overseas. And through exercises like SK15, we get the chance to further enhance our ability to operate effectively alongside other militaries,” Major General Gall said.