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Support to Ukraine

Below is information on the New Zealand Defence Force's support to Ukraine's defence against Russia's invasion. The latest information is at the top.

Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel prepare the Hercules aircraft, loading supplies.

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Latest information

31 May, 2.10pm: NZDF Artillery Team to Train Ukrainians alongside UK

A New Zealand Defence Force Artillery Training Team is in June to start training Ukrainian soldiers in using the 105mm L119 Light Gun.

The training team, of up to 30 personnel, has been deployed for up to two months, and will instruct members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the United Kingdom. NZDF personnel will not be entering Ukraine.

The NZDF is also providing approximately 40 dial sights to Ukraine, along with a small quantity of ammunition for training purposes.

The NZDF training team will be part of a wider UK team instructing in use of the Light Gun.

The NZDF team will be primarily focused on training orientation of the Light Guns and use of dial sites for the weapons system.

The Artillery Training Team joins more than 60 other NZDF personnel deployed to the UK and Europe where they are working with international partners in support of Ukraine’s self-defence.

The Government previously approved the deployment of a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130H Hercules aircraft and NZDF personnel to Europe to provide intelligence, liaison, transportation and logistics support to the international community’s efforts to support Ukraine’s self-defence.

The NZDF’s New Zealand-based open-source intelligence capability has also been used, and military equipment has been donated to Ukraine.

The Hercules and personnel have been continuing to fly missions around Europe transporting donated military aid. 

Our deployed personnel include a logistics team based in Germany who are continuing to assist international efforts to cohere and coordinate the movement of donated military aid. They are working to ensure equipment donations are in accordance with Ukraine’s operational priorities, and are coordinating the logistics for donations and matching transport to aid consignments.

View previous updates here.  

An 105mm L119 Light Gun.

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Previous updates

12 May, 4.30pm: NZDF's support continues as part of international efforts to deliver aid to Ukraine

New Zealand Defence Force personnel are continuing to assist international efforts to cohere and coordinate the movement of donated military aid to Ukraine. 

Recently, personnel from the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and New Zealand Army, who have been deployed to Europe as part of the multinational response to assist Ukraine’s self-defence against Russia, recently assisted with the movement of vital medical supplies.

Almost two tonnes (4380lb) of medical supplies for Ukraine were picked up by an RNZAF C-130 Hercules in Malta.

The three pallets of supplies were being distributed to a centre coordinating aid before being taken into Ukraine to support those in need.

NZDF personnel have integrated with international partner militaries and have been assisting efforts to move donated military aid to Ukraine. 

The deployment of the Hercules, air transportation and logistics personnel is in addition to the deployment of other NZDF personnel, including intelligence staff to the United Kingdom.

RNZAF Wing Commander Lisa D’Oliveira, the commander of the Air detachment, said the Air and logistics contingents were working together to ensure missions to transport donated aid were successful.

“It is fantastic that the NZDF is able to provide much needed aid to support the Ukrainian effort,’’ she said. 

NZ Army Lieutenant Colonel Vanessa Ropitini, commander of the logistics detachment, said the team had enjoyed coming together and working with others in the multinational effort to support Ukraine.

“It is great to play our part in ensuring important supplies and equipment get to where they need to be,’’ she said.

Almost two tonnes (4380lb) of medical supplies for Ukraine were picked up by an RNZAF C-130 Hercules in Malta.

3 May, 4.00pm: NZDF support to Ukraine’s self-defence underway

New Zealand Defence Force personnel deployed to Europe have quickly integrated with international partner militaries and commenced supporting Ukraine’s self-defence.

NZDF logistics personnel are working within the International Donor Co-ordination Centre (IDCC) in Germany assisting multinational efforts to cohere and coordinate the movement of donated military aid to Ukraine.

The personnel are working as part of the IDCC ensuring equipment donations are in accordance with Ukraine’s operational priorities, coordinating the logistics for donations, and matching transport to aid consignments.

The first Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130 Hercules flights transporting military aid between staging centres in Europe occurred last week. 

The Hercules is based at the Royal Air Force base at Brize Norton, in the United Kingdom. It flies to centres in Europe to load and transport military equipment consignments to forward staging points from which the equipment is moved into Ukraine.

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour said it was pleasing to see NZDF personnel embedded in international teams, planning air movements and managing the distribution of donor contributions in support of the self-defence of Ukraine and the maintenance of international rules-based order. 

“Our personnel are professionally carrying out their duties, coordinating well with personnel from other nations on the logistics and transportation of donor contributions.”

RNZAF Wing Commander Lisa D’Oliveira, the commander of the Air detachment, said personnel were pleased to get underway with their first tasks moving military equipment and helping Ukraine, with more to come in coming weeks.

New Zealand Army Lieutenant Colonel Vanessa Ropitini, the commander for the logistics detachment, based in Germany, said her team was underway in the international coordination centre, working with partners to get donor supplies to Ukraine. 

The work of the logistics team had been essential to ensuring the most appropriate tasks for the Hercules were identified and confirmed, and the team was proud their efforts to secure the first tasks had been successful, she said. 

“Everyone is pleased they’re doing tangible work to get military aid to the Ukrainians.” 

The deployment of the Hercules, air transportation and logistics personnel is in addition to the deployment of NZDF intelligence staff to the United Kingdom, an officer to the UK Permanent Joint Headquarters and a liaison officer to work at a NATO headquarters in Belgium.

The NZDF’s open source intelligence capability is also being utilised, and a consignment of helmets, body armour, radios and other equipment was sent earlier to support Ukraine’s self-defence. Read the story here

Military aid to support Ukraine’s self-defence is loaded and sent on to the RNZAF Hercules aircraft in Europe.

18 April, 9.45am: Hercules arrives in UK

Our Royal New Zealand Air Force Hercules aircraft and crew have arrived in the United Kingdom ready to soon begin transporting donated military aid between centres in Europe. Images credit: Royal Air Force

 

A Royal New Zealand Air Force Hercules aircraft lands in the UK ready to soon begin transporting donated military aid between centres in Europe. Credit: RAF

A Royal New Zealand Air Force Hercules aircraft lands in the UK ready to soon begin transporting donated military aid between centres in Europe. Credit: RAF

13 April, 10.10am: RNZAF Hercules departs for Europe

A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules and crew are expected to begin transporting donated military aid bound for Ukraine from centres in Europe from next week. 

The Hercules left RNZAF Base Auckland this morning with a crew of nine personnel on board.

The majority of the approximately 50-strong Air detachment will deploy independently to a base in the United Kingdom in advance of the aircraft’s arrival, to start the preparations for the movement of donated military aid destined for Ukraine.

Among this group are alternative flying crew, maintenance technicians, and two air load teams which will manage cargo loads for the aircraft. The two air load teams will also be able to assist with cargo movements on partner military aircraft.

Once based in the United Kingdom, the Hercules will begin flying between third countries in Europe, picking up donated military aid and transporting the cargo to destinations from where the stores can be taken by land into Ukraine.

The movement of donated military aid around Europe is being coordinated by an international coordination centre in Stuttgart, Germany.

The New Zealand Defence Force is deploying a group of eight personnel, including New Zealand Army logistics personnel and RNZAF air liaison and air movements personnel, to work as part of the international team coordinating the logistics for donations, matching transport to aid consignments, as well as receiving, packaging, and arranging the onward transportation of military aid into Ukraine.

NZDF personnel will not be entering Ukraine.

A three-person advance party is currently in the United Kingdom, where they are facilitating the arrival of the aircraft and assimilation of personnel into the Stuttgart coordination centre, before themselves travelling to Stuttgart later this week.

The deployment of the Hercules, air transportation and logistics personnel is in addition to the deployment of NZDF intelligence staff to the United Kingdom. As well, an officer is also being deployed to the UK Permanent Joint Headquarters, and a liaison officer will be working at a NATO headquarters in Belgium.

The NZDF’s open source intelligence capability is being utilised to take advantage of time zone differences between New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

A consignment of helmets, body armour, radios and other equipment was flown by military aircraft to Europe and delivered to Ukraine. 

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour said this was a significant contribution by the New Zealand Defence Force as part of New Zealand’s efforts to support Ukraine’s self-defence.

“It’s complex and the situation in Ukraine is changing almost daily. With the deployment of our air transport and logistics support, we’re working with purpose to get them established in Europe,  working alongside our partners, so they can get underway with transporting the large quantities of donated military aid to third countries, and to where it’s needed most, Ukraine.”

Base Commander Auckland, Group Captain Andy Scott, was at the departure as the aircraft left the Air Force base in Whenuapai for Europe.

“We should never underestimate the value we can provide to partners with the contribution of a cargo aircraft and a team of professional, highly motivated service personnel. In situations like this airlift, logistics support and intelligence analysts are always key enablers and we are proud to be able to help,” he said. 

Wing Commander Lisa D’Oliveira, the Commanding Officer for RNZAF No 40 Squadron, said the Squadron was excited to be sending a C-130 Hercules and detachment to support air transport operations in Europe.

“This will provide the opportunity for us to operate in a multi-national environment ensuring donor aid can be made available to support the Ukrainians,” she said.

The deployment of the Hercules and RNZAF detachment is for up to 60 days, while the logistics team has been deployed for up to 90 days.

A RNZAF Hercules aircraft and crew prepare to leave Base Auckland

11 April, 4.00pm

We will deploy one of our Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft and personnel as well as New Zealand Army logistics personnel to assist with the transportation and distribution of donated military aid to support Ukraine's self-defence against Russia.

The Hercules will transport military supplies between countries in Europe. Our team of logistics personnel will assist with the preparation, packing and transportation of stores and equipment for onward movement and transfer to Ukrainian armed forces.

Neither our personnel or aircraft will be entering Ukraine.

Our Army and Air Force personnel package defence equipment to support Ukraine.