New Zealand Army personnel will be making their way to Whanganui to conduct a three-week-long exercise focused on sharpening soldiers’ reconnaissance skills.
The Land Operations Training Centre will conduct the military exercise from Monday, September 18 to Friday, October 13.
The exercise will contain around 40 soldiers and will be based in the vicinity of the New Zealand Defence Force training centre at Languard Bluff.
Senior instructor for the dismount operations wing, Captain Mitch Lennane, said the school would be running a reconnaissance and surveillance command course over the three weeks.
“We’re testing officers and soldiers to command reconnaissance operations for the army.
“Reconnaissance being sneaky observation of enemy targets.”
The exercises will look like small groups patrolling and gathering information about a mock enemy and various terrains from concealed locations.
He said these would be taking place in forest and bush areas around Brunswick and Santoft and urban reconnaissance in areas across town including the wharf and the Whanganui River.
“They’ll be learning how to observe enemy targets and report information back to inform high-level operations.”
If soldiers did the exercises correctly, people in the city wouldn’t even realise the soldiers were there.
“If we do everything right you actually won’t see the troop guys doing their thing, cause they’ll be quite sneaky and concealed inside buildings.”
However, some may notice other army personnel dressed as the enemy purposefully acting suspiciously as part of the exercises, but these people would not be in obvious or well-populated places.
There may also be military vehicle movement through these areas, but they wouldn’t disrupt residents’ normal routines.
Soldiers will be operating with weapons in the area and blank firing activities may occur.
Finn Williams is a multimedia journalist for the Whanganui Chronicle. He joined the Chronicle in early 2022 and regularly covers stories about business, events and emergencies. He also enjoys writing opinion columns on whatever interests him.