Defence Force landing at Okiwi Bay

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At 6 am this morning, Marlborough’s Okiwi Bay was swarmed by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

The NZDF sealift and amphibious support ship HMNZS Canterbury conducted an amphibious landing as part of NZDF’s largest military exercise, Exercise Southern Katipo 2015.

Exercise Southern Katipo involves more than 2,000 personnel from nine nations (including New Zealand).

Landing Craft launched from HMNZS Canterbury, transporting equipment and personnel to the shore before moving by road to Titirangi Bay.

HMNZS Canterbury has an extensive range of capabilities including the ability to land personnel, vehicles and cargo by landing craft, helicopter or ramps, as well as conventional port infrastructure. She can carry up to 250 people as well as her own crew for long periods, and has played a significant part in previous disaster relief efforts such as the Samoa earthquake and tsunami in 2009 and the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011.