4 May 2012

US and NZ military conduct first exercise in 25 years

7:11 pm on 4 May 2012

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says there could be more engagements in exercises between the New Zealand and United States defence forces.

He says the first bilateral exercise between the United States and New Zealand here in more than a quarter of a century reflects the warming relationship between the two countries.

US Marines (35) and US soldiers (41) have joined the 1500 strong contingent from across the New Zealand defence force for the exercise.

Mr Coleman says this exercise is a natural progression between the two forces.

"It makes sense the US and us both have a strategic interest in the Asia Pacific region, we'll be working together on humanitarian efforts, who knows what might happen in the future? But the bottom line is we're friends with the US and we've been working with them as partners for a long time now."