22 May 2012

NZ Air Force starts exercise in Samoa

5:15 pm on 22 May 2012

The New Zealand air force has sent 40 personnel and three Iroquois helicopters to Samoa to take part in Exercise Tropic Astra.

The helicopters are also being used to transport Samoa government personnel and heavy loads to areas that are difficult to be reached.

The helicopters will also carry a water tank to Namu'a island, take a team of geologists for a biodiversity survey and be used for a disaster-related exercise.

The helicopters will also be involved in a joint exercise with Samoa's Police Maritime unit.

The New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa, Nick Hurley, says the helicopters will also perform a fly-over during next month's celebrations of 50 years of independence.