New Zealand’s defence ties with the United States
are set to reach a new milestone
[ not the word I’d use ]
with the arrival of 76 US military personnel
for the first combat-focused joint exercise on New Zealand soil
in more than 27 years.
The Defence Minister, Jonathan Coleman,
last night announced the joint military exercise involving 35 US Marines and 41 US Army personnel
to take part in an exercise dubbed Alam Halfa,
after a World War II battle in Egypt in 1942.
Since the accelerated friendship between New Zealand and the US was announced
in the Wellington Declaration
16 months ago,
joint exercises have stepped up.
But until now
they have had a humanitarian or non-combat focus.
[ … just to kind of ‘slowly ease you back into the whole idea’ ]
including a Marine band,
[ ” Gee whillikers … ” ]
intend to visit New Zealand to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the arrival of American forces
to help to defend the South Pacific in World War II.
[ Thereby helping to guilt-trip you into accepting a collective role
in the ongoing dispossession of the people living on South West Asia
that is happening right now. ]