(Source: New Zealand Defence Force)
12:00 AM, November 7, 2008
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Todays signing of a Status of Forces Agreement between New Zealand and Germany marks a significant step in the future relationship between the both nations' defence forces.>> The agreement, signed by the Minister of Defence, Hon Phil Goff and German Ambassador to New Zealand, His Excellency Mr Jrg Zimmermann, sets out the conditions for the temporary stay of New Zealand Defence Force personnel in Germany for the purposes of all training, exercises and exchanges.>> Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Graham Lintott says the agreement is of particular significance for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as it will cover the pilot exchange with Germany set to begin in early 2009.>> RNZAF pilots who will be operating the new NH90 helicopters will be among the first to benefit from this agreement.>> The arrival of the NH90 helicopter into the service will be an exciting milestone for the Air Force and working alongside other NH90 operators, such and Germany, will be of invaluable assistance in terms of training opportunities.>> Initially, the RNZAF intends to send one pilot and one helicopter crewman for a 2 to 2 year exchange to Germany in early 2009 and conversely will support German training programmes in respect of the NH90 in New Zealand.>>> BACKGROUND NOTES:>> The NH90 is an advanced medium utility helicopter, and will be used for frontline military and civil operations. It has the capability to support ground operations, counter terrorism, disaster relief, search and rescue and counter-drug operations.>> Ten years in development, the NH90 represents current state of the art technology. It will be the cornerstone of the Defence Force capability over the next 30 years.
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