WELLINGTON, May 27 (Xinhua) -- A New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) medical team has jointed forces from the United States, Australia, Japan and Singapore in an military exercise to offer humanitarian and civil assistance around the Pacific, the NZDF said Tuesday.
The 10-strong NZDF health team started work in West Timor and Rote Island in Indonesia on Monday as part of Exercise Pacific Partnership, which has been held every year since 2006, to help build the ability and capacity to manage natural disasters.
The exercise offered extensive opportunities to improve interoperability and to strengthen alliances between the various defense forces involved, said Lieutenant Colonel Darren Beck, of the New Zealand Army, who is Deputy Commander for the Indonesian component of the exercise.
Beck said the Pacific Partnership exercises were a "unifying mission."
"Everyone can support Pacific Partnership. It's based on common goals that provide huge benefits to all the nations involved, by increasing regional stability," he said in a statement.
"Everyone agrees that we need to be able to work together to respond quickly and effectively to natural disasters. This exercise prepares us, in calm times, to respond effectively in times of crisis."
The NZDF team -- comprising medics, nurses, a doctor, environmental health and dental professionals, and a chaplain -- would be in Indonesia until June 10 before moving to Timor Leste for the second stage of their involvement until June 25. Enditem