Overseas Operations

New Zealand has a history of contributing to international efforts to resolve conflict. The NZ Defence Force is a valued international coalition partner committed to peace and security, and regularly works alongside international partners on operations and exercises throughout the world.

It is in New Zealand’s interests to play a leadership role in the South Pacific, acting in concert with our neighbours, helping to maintain stability, enhance regional security capabilities, and promote good governance and economic and social development .

The NZ Defence Force supports a number of major operations around the world.  About 250 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will be serving on 11 operations overseas over the Christmas period.
237 of those deployed on operations are based in the Middle East. This includes 13 in Afghanistan, two in Bahrain, 28 in Egypt, 113 in Iraq and seven as UN observers in Israel and Lebanon.

Six NZDF personnel are serving as United Nations armistice monitors in South Korea, including two who are based along the Demilitarised Zone with North Korea. Four are supporting the UN mission in war-torn South Sudan.
Eight personnel will be in Antarctica over Christmas, supporting the New Zealand and US research programmes on the continent.


Map of Afghanistan The twenty first and final rotation of NZDF personnel in the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT) left Afghanistan in April 2013. There are still 10 personnel in training roles with the Afghan National Army.


Each year, Antarctic New Zealand request NZDF support for the Antarctic summer season to provide air transport, logistics and personnel support during the summer months.

Combined Maritime Forces

The RNZAF P-3K2 Orion was part of a CMF operation to seize a $280 million (AUD) drug haul from a dhow off the Horn of Africa. Photo courtesy of the Royal Australian Navy. The New Zealand Defence Force contributes around 60 NZDF personnel to the Combined Maritime Forces' (CMF) maritime security operations in the Middle East.


NZDF personnel are currently deployed to Iraq, and working alongside the Australian Defence Force as part of a Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission.

Middle East

Shelling and rocket attacks on TYRE, Southern Lebanon, 25 kms north of the Israeli border. The UNTSO area of operations covers five Middle Eastern countries including Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. The UNTSO headquarters is based in Jerusalem, Israel.

Sinai, Egypt

Kiwi Base, Sinai. The mission of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) is to supervise the implementation of the security provisions of the Egyptian-Israel Treaty of Peace. The New Zealand contingent has been a member of the MFO since its inception in 1981.

South Korea

Sub Lieutenant Fraser Toulmin (yellow armband) at a United Nations Command Observation post overlooking the "punch bowl," an area which saw many fierce battles during the Korean War because of its strategic location.  Three NZDF officers are deployed to the UN Command Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC), one of whom is deployed to Yongsan, Seoul as the assistant operations officer in the UNCMAC HQ. This is a six month rotational posting.

South Sudan

NZDF's Senior National Officer Major Terry McDonald with children in Sudan, October 2009. (WN09-0040-098) On 9 July 2011 South Sudan became the newest country in the world. The birth of the Republic of South Sudan is the culmination of a six-year peace process and a new chapter in a region that has seen little peace in the last 50 years.
This page was last reviewed on 18 December 2017, and is current.