Xmas with the troops

It'll be the last Christmas New Zealand Defence Force troops spend in Afghanistan.

Our final rotation of soldiers will return home by the end of April next year.

Staff Sergeant Wayne Anderson, who is serving in Afghanistan as part of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team, says that most of the troops volunteered to be in Afghanistan over Christmas, so they're happy being there.

"It's just another Christmas really," Staff Sergeant Anderson said.

The troops will be looking forward to a traditional New Zealand style Christmas dinner with chicken, ham, pork and roast vegetables, as well as pavlova and trifle for dessert.

Afterwards, troops are allowed what's known as a 'near beer', which Wayne Anderson says tastes a bit like beer but has no alcohol in it.

Meanwhile, around 40 New Zealand troops in Antarctica are hopeful they'll be able to touch base with family members by Skype today.

Lieutenant Commander Barry Holmes says arrangements have been made for them to make contact with their families.

He says while internet bandwidth is limited, on Christmas Day an effort is made to set some aside so troops can make calls.

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