New Zealand to host multinational military exercise

Wellington, Aug 2 (IANS) Military representatives from China, US and Australia are in New Zealand this week to discuss ways to improve emergency humanitarian operations in the South Pacific, the military said on Tuesday.

According to the New Zealand Defence Force, personnel from the four military forces would take part in Exercise Cooperation Spirit, an annual tabletop exercise designed to strengthen co-operation and contribute to the development of coalition humanitarian aid policies, Xinhua news agency reported.

The exercise would use a detailed scenario in a fictional South Pacific country to present participants with particular problems to resolve.

“We will be asking them to develop solutions based on the combined capabilities of the nations involved,” a New Zealand commander official said in a statement.

International aid groups, including the Red Cross, Unicef and World Vision, would be represented along with officials from New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Defence and Police, as well as a representative for Timor-Leste.

“The theme is ‘The Sum is Greater Than The Parts — 21st Century Humanitarian Operations,’ and developing an understanding of how all of these agencies and militaries must work together for greatest effect is crucial to being able to deliver the best humanitarian support to the South Pacific after a disaster,” the commander added.

–IANS

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