New Zealand Defence Force personnel deployed to Europe have quickly integrated with international partner militaries and commenced supporting Ukraine’s self-defence.
NZDF logistics personnel are working within the International Donor Co-ordination Centre in Germany assisting multinational efforts to cohere and coordinate the movement of donated military aid to Ukraine.
The personnel are working as part of the IDCC ensuring equipment donations are in accordance with Ukraine’s operational priorities, coordinating the logistics for donations, and matching transport to aid consignments.
The first Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules flights transporting military aid between staging centres in Europe occurred last week.
The Hercules is based at the Royal Air Force base at Brize Norton, in the United Kingdom. It flies to centres in Europe to load and transport military equipment consignments to forward staging points from which the equipment is moved into Ukraine.
Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour says it's pleasing to see NZDF personnel embedded in international teams, planning air movements and managing the distribution of donor contributions in support of the self-defence of Ukraine and the maintenance of international rules-based order.
“Our personnel are professionally carrying out their duties, coordinating well with personnel from other nations on the logistics and transportation of donor contributions.”
RNZAF Wing Commander Lisa D’Oliveira, the commander of the Air detachment, says personnel were pleased to get underway with their first tasks moving military equipment and helping Ukraine, with more to come in coming weeks.
New Zealand Army Lieutenant Colonel Vanessa Ropitini, the commander for the logistics detachment, based in Germany, said her team was underway in the international coordination centre, working with partners to get donor supplies to Ukraine.
The work of the logistics team had been essential to ensuring the most appropriate tasks for the Hercules were identified and confirmed, and the team was proud their efforts to secure the first tasks had been successful, she says.
“Everyone is pleased they’re doing tangible work to get military aid to the Ukrainians.”
The deployment of the Hercules, air transportation and logistics personnel is in addition to the deployment of NZDF intelligence staff to the United Kingdom, an officer to the UK Permanent Joint Headquarters and a liaison officer to work at a NATO headquarters in Belgium.
The NZDF’s open source intelligence capability is also being utilised, and a consignment of helmets, body armour, radios and other equipment was sent earlier to support Ukraine’s self-defence.