The Defence Minister has paid tribute to the events the Defence Force has participated in this year, including the search for missing flight MH370, commemorations around the world and a multi-national exercise around the Hawaiian Islands.
Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said that this year, more than 500 personnel were deployed on operations and exercises around the world.
"One of the biggest news stories of this year was the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370," he said.
"The Royal New Zealand Air Force P3-Orion crew did a tremendous job contributing New Zealand's effort to the search and rescue of the missing Malaysian aircraft."
The biggest overseas exercise New Zealand personnel were involved with was Exercise Rimpac.
The exercise was held around the Hawaiian Islands with 23 other nations and 25,000 personnel.
The Royal New Zealand Navy hosted and led the Western Pacific Naval Symposium Mine Counter Measure and Diving exercise in which 600 personnel from 14 nations practised responses to natural disasters in the South Pacific.
Mr Brownlee said commemorations made up a large portion of this year's events.
"This year has also been a busy year for commemorations, with veterans being supported to attend commemorations in France to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, and Italy to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino."
Mr Brownlee said he would be thinking of the personnel deployed over Christmas.
"As Christmas approaches we think of all those who will not spend Christmas Day with their families, and take a moment to appreciate the work they are doing around the world in service to New Zealand."
More than 120 NZ Defence Force personnel will spend Christmas Day on operations around the world, in Bahrain, the Middle East, South Korea, Antarctica, Sinai, Afghanistan and South Sudan.
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