Large-scale national military exercise a success

A large-scale military exercise enacting a scenario of insurgents trying to overthrow a government has been completed in central and lower North Island.

Month-long exercise Alam Halfa finished this week after being conducted in Waiouru, Tararua and Wairarapa.

It involved pre-deployment training, live firing exercises, field exercises and reconstitution involving more than 1000 personnel from four countries.

The New Zealand Army and Royal New Zealand Air Force were joined by the Canadian, US and British armies and the US Marine Corps to conduct the exercise aimed at preparing personnel for conflict situations.

Communities also got involved in the exercise and "safety was paramount" throughout, said Commander of 1 (NZ) Brigade Colonel Chris Parsons.

Mauriceville beef and sheep farmer David Cameron loaned his wool shed to a group of 'insurgents' to lie low and disrupt soldiers trying to flush them out.

He said it was easy to see how hard it would be for military forces trying to identify insurgents who had befriended locals in real conflict situations.

Exercise Alam Halfa will be followed by exercise Southern Katipo in the South Island later this year.

- APNZ

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