NZDF exercise tests amphibious operations

NZ Army Pinzgauer and MHOV vehicles are transported ashore via landing craft from the Navy multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury

The field phase of a New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) amphibious operations exercise involving all three Services this week is under way at Army Bay, north of Auckland, with a beach landing and advanced assault training.

Exercise Joint Waka is aimed at training and testing the NZDF’s capabilities for amphibious operations and involves the Navy’s amphibious support vessel HMNZS Canterbury, soldiers from 1 Brigade at Linton, and three NH90 helicopters from No 3 Squadron at Ohakea.

Corporal Robert Hosking drives an NZ Army Light Armoured Vehicle ashore from a landing craft

The Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Major General Tim Gall, said that although the NZDF has frequently demonstrated the ability to deploy a combined force, Joint Waka is designed to further enhance its amphibious capability.

Air Force and Navy personnel prepare to secure a load to a NH90 helicopter from the flight deck of HMNZS Canterbury.

“The ability to work together seamlessly and with maximum efficiency is a cornerstone of a successful deployed joint force that can deal with any of the contingencies we face at home and overseas including natural disasters and humanitarian crises,” he said.

Private Greer Hutton of the amphibious beach team marshals an NZ Army MHOV ashore from a landing craft, with the Navy amphibious support vessel HMNZS Canterbury in the background.

“Joint Waka also ties in with Exercise Southern Katipo, our major international exercise in New Zealand later this year, which will be a further opportunity for the three Services to conduct integrated training in a simulated deployed environment.”

The exercise will continue tomorrow.

Medics prepare to transfer a patient from stretcher to hospital bed. As part of Exercise Joint Wake, various mock medical situations tested medical staff from all three Services in the hospital on board HMNZS Canterbury.