4 Oct 2010

NZ soldiers leave for Afghanistan

6:05 am on 4 October 2010

A contingent of about 100 New Zealand soldiers left Burnham Military Camp in Canterbury for Afghanistan on Monday.

Another 20 or so will leave in a few days time, and most will join the Provincial Reconstruction Team based in Bamyan province.

Others will work in roles within the international force's headquarters in Kabul and at another control centre at Bagram.

The deployment is the 17th to Afghanistan, and the first since Lieutenant Timothy O'Donnell was killed by a roadside bomb in Bamyan province in August.

Joint Forces Commander Air Vice Marshal Peter Stockwell says the risk assessment in Afghanistan hasn't changed, despite Lieutenant O'Donnell's death.

Air Vice Marshal Stockwell says most of Bamyan province is reasonably secure but there is a heightened security situation in the north-east of the province, where Lieutenant O'Donnell was killed.

He says as a result of the death, the defence force has made adjustments to tactics and procedures.