LINTON MILITARY CAMP, NZ. (NOV. 1, 2014) --
U.S. Marines and
soldiers began integrating with their counterparts in the New Zealand Defense
Force this week as part of Exercise Kiwi Koru 2014, a bilateral exercise
occurring every other year on the North Island of New Zealand.
Koru is a planned training event which is meant to enhance defense relations
with New Zealand through conducting multinational training and enhancing
interoperability between both forces.
The exercise supports Southern
Katipo 2015, a complimentary training event occurring in odd years, also
centered on operations in the Pacific.
“Kiwi Koru is a
chance for us to train collectively in a stability operation, and peacemaking
environment,” said Col. Nick Gillard, commander of the 1st New Zealand Brigade,
New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). “We get an opportunity to train in a task
organized Task Group, and practice that which we would do if mobilized
environment explores the cultural, political and economic relationship between
fictional island nations in the Pacific, Bekara West and Bekara East, as well
as a third nation, Alpira, from which the scenario’s antagonists hail from.
and understanding the intimate details surrounding their deployment to support
the Bekaran government, the combat service support and direct combat assets
will be spread amongst Task Groups Thunder and Black, respectively.
Gilard, dividing the elements of the force lends to the realism of the
scenario, as the fictional island nations are geographically hundreds of miles
apart. No small bound for logistical planning and decision making.
Task Group Thunder,
though located aboard Waiouru Training Camp, is to operate in Bekara West. Task
Group Black, located aboard Taranaki Training Camp, is to operate in Bekara
Whether they need
large, open ranges for the cannoneers from 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment
and their NZDF counterparts to fire the L-119 Light Field Artillery Gun, or a
mountainside vantage point for 1st Radio Battalion, I Marine Logistics Group
and soldiers from the 1st New Zealand Signals Regiment to keep all troops
connected, New Zealand’s training camps span the spectrum, and will provide
challenges in more ways than one.
According to Emma
Horsley, the Public Relations Officer for 1st New Zealand Brigade, the
challenges the troops will be facing is a great opportunity for their public to
see the force in action.
“A lot of the
time, people know the Defense Force is there, but they might not understand exactly
what it does,” said Horsley. “This exercise not only grows our troops, but it
gives the public an opportunity to interact with them and see what we’re all
For the Marines,
the opportunity to train with other military organizations is just as valuable.
“When you get a
chance to train with guys who do things differently it’s always a positive
experience,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Lagoski, commanding officer of the 13th
Marine Expeditionary Unit, whose Marines are serving as the command element for
the exercise, as well as participating throughout. “We’re not here to make take
over or re-invent the wheel, but rather compare notes and work together to pick
out best practices to take away.”