Hercules deployment to Middle East confirmed

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says Cabinet has approved a short-term deployment of a C-130 Hercules to the Middle East.

Mr Brownlee says the aircraft is deploying in response to a request from the Australian Defence Force to provide additional capacity during a period of high operational tempo.

“I am pleased the New Zealand Defence Force can provide this assistance, considering the significant support we receive from the Australian Defence Force in Iraq and New Zealand’s other deployments in the region,” Mr Brownlee says.

“The aircraft will carry out logistics flights in support of New Zealand and Australian operations, including carrying people, equipment and supplies to Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan and the Sinai Peninsula.

“The deployment will involve up to 30 personnel from early May to late June 2017 and is the fourth time a New Zealand Defence Force C-130 Hercules has been deployed to the region to carry out logistics support flights.

“The estimated cost of the deployment is assessed at $1.3 million and will not require additional funding,” Mr Brownlee says.

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