Annual Exercise Prepares TF Troops For Operations
10 March 2009
Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV) and helicopters were just two of the big machines that South Island Army reservists worked with during their annual field exercise in February.
Exercise SOUTHERN KIWI 09 brought together Territorial Force (TF) soldiers from all around the South Island to prepare them for the job they will be doing if and when deployed overseas.
Based out of the Army’s West Melton range and in the small village of Coalgate, they conducted foot and vehicle patrolling, cordon and search operations, vehicle checkpoints and small attacks on isolated locations. They learnt how to use Army’s specialist radios for communication and travelled in Unimogs, LAV and Air Force helicopters as part of the week long exercise.
“This week offered reservists the opportunity to take on challenges that you would regularly experience full-time in the Army,” explained Colonel Chris Faulls, Deputy Commander for the 3rd Land Force Group.
“We were particularly pleased with the support we received from the locals in Coalgate. Many of the villagers agreed to take part in the exercise by volunteering to have houses and cars searched. This made the exercise so much more real for our soldiers and for that we are very grateful.”
Visitors out to the exercise included local media, the Minister of Defence Dr Wayne Mapp, MP for the Selwyn District Amy Adams, and the Mayor of Selwyn Kelvin Coe. Dr Mapp shared his own experiences of being in the reserves with several of the soldiers, describing it as “just the most direct expression of citizenship.”