11 Sep 2009

Training nears end for next deployment of troops

5:40 pm on 11 September 2009

About 150 members of the armed forces have almost completed an intensive fortnight's training near Waiouru in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan next month.

The team will be the 15th to serve there since the New Zealand Defence Forces took over command of provincial reconstruction in the Bamyan province in September 2003.

The exercise has included everything from weapons training, exposure to sub zero conditions, security issues and reacting to unexpected emergencies.

Prime Minister John Key announced last month that up to 70 members of the SAS will also go to Afghanistan in response to a request from NATO.

He also said the provincial reconstruction team would be wound down over three to five years.