Skip to main content

Middle East and Africa deployments extended for NZDF

The Government has approved two-year extensions for to four New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) deployments to the Middle East and Africa.

27 May, 2024

The joint announcement from Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters on Friday includes the three-person commitment to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, the 28-person contingent to the Multinational Force and Observers in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, and the eight-person contribution to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation in the Middle East.

These are now extended until September 2026.

New Zealand’s long-standing commitments to Middle East maritime security efforts, including the Combined Maritime Forces in Bahrain, will continue for a further two years until June 2026.

The NZDF New Zealand will undertake a six-month rotation commanding the Combined Maritime Forces’ Combined Task Force 150 early next year. This task force is responsible for coordinating multinational activities to counter smuggling, piracy and terrorism in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

This Command Team will be supported by the deployment of an Anzac-class frigate for a two-month period.

A mine countermeasure task unit will also be deployed to United States Naval Forces Central Command for six months, some time between May 2025 and June 2026, to work alongside partners to promote open sea lines of communication.

“These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active contributions to the maintenance of the international rules-based system,” Ms Collins said.

“This reflects the importance New Zealand places on freedom of navigation and the safety of sea trading lanes. Events impacting the free flow of trade through this region can rapidly have flow on effects for New Zealand.”

Mr Peters said security and stability challenges in the Middle East and Africa can have a far-reaching impact, including on the security and prosperity of New Zealand.

“This is why New Zealand contributes to peacekeeping deployments to maintain stability and promote peace in the Middle East and in Africa,” Mr Peters said.

Cover image: HMS Montrose’s crew catalogue a drug seizure in the Indian Ocean, under New Zealand’s command of Combined Task Force 150 in 2022.