New Zealand defence officials meet Indian Navy in Mumbai today

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 06 November 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College will be meeting the Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy on Thursday as part of the two countries' defence cooperation programme to strengthen their ties. The 65-members delegation is on an overseas study tour to India to enhance their military and strategic understanding of the region. Apart from the relation building between the two countries, the delegation core idea is to share the defence education platform where in highly ranked officers each from 12 countries are selected and are provided with nine month advance defence education in New Zealand.

They landed in India on November 2 and after completing their Delhi visit reached Mumbai on Tuesday night. In India, they will travel to five Indian cities (Delhi, Agra, Pune, Mumbai and Bengaluru) where they will visit some of India's leading defence-related institutions, industries and think tanks. "This visit will deepen India-New Zealand defence ties with members of this delegation having a privileged perspective on India's military and strategic priorities," leader of the delegation, Commodore Wayne Burroughs of the Royal New Zealand Navy told TOI on Wednesday.

The study programme is restricted to officers enrolled for a nine-month course at the Staff College. The touring group includes 12 Officers of the equivalent rank of Major or Lieutenant Colonel and four Warrant Officers from international military forces. This includes the first Indian defence officials selected for the programme. Major Malay Mishra of the Indian National Army, who is currently studying at theNew Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College. "Interactions during this visit will impart more than the theoretical lessons in class about strategy, culture and strategic-culture and also will provide a different perspective of dynamics within Asia-Pacific," adds Mishra, who lauds the New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College's "competent multinational and intellectual environment".

Air Commodore Shaun Clarke said that the piracy at sea was one of the major problem. But now it has come down and it is due to the effective patrolling carried out by Navies of different countries. He said offering study programmes to defence personnel, the New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College shares a great deal in common with India's National Defence College (NDC) in New Delhi (which offers development to full Colonels and General rank officers). As a new initiative, one New Zealand Army Officer will be attending the year-long NDC course in January 2015.

Commander Nigel Edward Philpott said their previous overseas study tours by have been to China, the US, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Visit destinations are chosen by the Chief of Defence Force and show New Zealand's deep interest in the Asia-Pacific region. The last visit by a NZDF Command and Staff College group to India was in 2009.

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