2 Nov 2015

Major defence force excercise in South Island

11:54 am on 2 November 2015

A defence force exercise involving more than 2000 military personnel is underway on the South Island's West Coast.

The month-long Southern Katipo exercise is the defence force's biggest and has participants from Australia, Canada, French Armed Forces of New Caledonia, Pacific Island nations, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The exercise has been run every two years since 2011.

The personnel will participate in a number of scenarios, including a humanitarian crisis and dealing with a rebel militia.

They will use aircraft, helicopters, ships, Light Armoured Vehicles and other military vehicles, including a drone.