New Zealand has announced the deployment of 120 additional Defence Force (NZDF) personnel to the United Kingdom to train Ukrainian warfighters for their ongoing conflict with Russia.
The project includes more than 40 million New Zealand dollars ($25.4 million) in financial aid and includes 850 personnel. It follows the initial assignment of 30 NZDF troops in May to provide artillery training to Ukrainian forces.
“New Zealand has been clear that we will continue to answer the call of Ukraine for practical support as they defend their homeland and people against Russia’s unjustified invasion,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“We know that one of the highest priorities for Ukraine right now, is to train its soldiers, and New Zealand is proud to stand in solidarity alongside a number of other countries to answer that call,” she continued.
Upskilling Ukrainian Soldiers
The latest deployment involves two infantry training teams to upskill Ukrainian soldiers for frontline combat. Among the sessions personnel will provide are combat first aid, weapons handling, operational law, and other related military skills.
The additional NZDF personnel will arrive in the UK for the next three weeks. They will join participating forces from other nations until November as part of the UK’s initiative to train 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers.
“This deployment also provides an opportunity for NZDF personnel to gain valuable experience through conducting core soldier skills in a foreign environment, alongside key partners, which promotes retention in our defence workforce,” Defence Minister Peeni Henare explained.
“The training will be conducted exclusively at one of four locations in the UK and our NZDF personnel will not enter Ukraine,” Henare added.
“It is a demonstration of our values and our independent foreign policy. Our ongoing role contributing to the international response supports Ukraine in protecting its territorial integrity and sovereignty,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta.