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Defence Minister Mark Mitchell was on hand to welcome the Royal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS Te Kaha back to the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland today, after nearly six months deployed to Australia and Asia.

“The ship has carried out an extensive and varied programme, much of it in company with HMNZS Endeavour on her final major deployment. The programme began with a major maritime exercise in Australia, and included a number of significant port visits. The two ships also took part in the annual Five Power Defence Arrangements Exercise Bersama Shield and Singapore’s International Naval Review,” Mr Mitchell says.

“Te Kaha undertook an additional task at short notice in late June when she was deployed to support the United States Seventh Fleet after the destroyer USS Fitzgerald and a Philippines container ship collided at sea.

“Te Kaha was in the area and when the Government’s offer of support was accepted by the United States she was able to assist with the security and protection of the USS Nimitz carrier group,” Mr Mitchell says.

“Te Kaha and her crew have performed every task to the highest standards. They have represented New Zealand with distinction, and I congratulate Commander Steve Lenik and his crew on a job very well done. Welcome home.”

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