More than 3,500 Defence Force personnel have deployed to Afghanistan since late 2001, with the majority serving in Bamyan Province, assisted by the National Support Element in Bagram and Dubai. There have also been four separate NZSAS deployments, and contributions to ISAF headquarters and the UN mission in Afghanistan.
The mission in Bamyan has been a major commitment and a significant milestone for the Defence Force. It has also been a key commitment for NZ Police and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade personnel.
New Zealand’s contribution to Afghanistan has made a significant difference to the lives of Afghans, says Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General (LTGEN) Rhys Jones.
“New Zealand is leaving a lasting legacy. Bamyan remains one of the more secure Provinces in Afghanistan. The Defence Force’s active engagement with the local population and our strong relationship with key leaders, coupled with development projects and community involvement, has helped to minimise influence from insurgents.”
“New Zealand should be very proud of the work that our Defence Force men and women have achieved in Afghanistan, particularly in Bamyan Province. It has however come at a price, and ten of our soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in the service of others.
“We will always remember them, and our thoughts remain with their families and friends as they continue to mourn their loved ones.
“New Zealanders have done a great job in Afghanistan over the past decade, and made a significant contribution to the future of the country, and to the lives of the Afghan people.”
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