RNZAF Poseidon Deploys to Japan

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On 10 April the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) announced it would will for the first time deploy a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and specialist personnel to detect and deter evasions of UN Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea.

Previously the NZAF have deployed the now retired P-3K2 Orion aircraft on five previous occasions. The NZDF has contributed personnel and maritime surveillance patrol aircraft to help enforce these Security Council sanctions since 2018.

North Korea continues to launch ballistic missiles in violation of Security Council resolutions. The sanctions are intended to persuade the country to denuclearise and abandon its ballistic missile weapons capabilities.

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour, said the NZDF was committed to working alongside partners on enforcement operations, to uphold the international rules-based system and contribute to regional stability and security. The maritime surveillance and reconnaissance patrols will be over international waters looking for violations of the sanctions resolutions, including illicit ship-to-ship transfers of banned goods such as oil and coal, he said.

The Air Component Commander, Air Commodore Andy Scott, said “This is the first time one of our Poseidons has been deployed operationally overseas, the first time we have operated in Asia, which will be the furthest deployment away from New Zealand, and the first time we have used this aircraft in support of New Zealand’s contribution to uphold UN Security Council sanctions enforcement.”

The NZAF Poseidon aircraft and crew will be based in Japan, conducting sanctions enforcement flights in support of the Enforcement Coordination Centre. Patrols will be conducted during April and May.

Source NZDF

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