The United States forces will join the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) for combined training from October 16 to November 3 as part of Exercise Southern Katipo 2017.
The exercise is a biannual, multinational military training conducted in New Zealand designed to improve participating forces’ combat training, readiness and interoperability as part of a joint inter-agency task force (JIATF).
Air assets from the U.S. Air Force, RNZAF, and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will participate. Air operations will be conducted out of RNZAF Base Ohakea.
Participating U.S. Air Force units include the 13th Air Expeditionary Group; 164th Airlift Squadron from the 179th Airlift Wing, Ohio Air National Guard; 249th Airlift Squadron from the 176th Airlift Wing, Alaska Air National Guard; 535th Airlift Squadron from the 15th Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; and the 109th Airlift Squadron from the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard.
The exercise is NZDF’s largest multilateral joint force amphibious exercise with participation from the U.S., Australia, Brunei, Canada, Fiji, Forces Armees de la Novelle-Caledonia (FANC), Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Tonga, Timor Leste, and the United Kingdom.
The U.S. military continues to seek and expand engagements and strengthen relationships with regional allies and partner nations in the Pacific through activities such as subject matter expert exchanges, host nation visits, exercises and operations such as Southern Katipo.
U.S. Pacific Air Forces (PACAF)