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New Zealand Defence Force to send extra support to help fight bushfires in Australia

The New Zealand Defence Force will be sending extra support to Australia as it continues to battle bushfires in Victoria and New South Wales.

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The group’s well aware of the task ahead. Source: 1 NEWS

An environmental health team, a primary health team, and a chaplain will be sent to Kangaroo Island, in South Australia, tomorrow, Defence Minister Ron Mark said in a statement.

The health care team will relieve an Australian Defence Force team providing medical support to troops, while the environmental health team will work with the NZDF Combat Engineers to continually monitor conditions and assess risks to personnel, he said.

"We have said that we'll support the ADF however we can, and hopefully these latest additions to the range of skills and resources that we're putting on the ground alongside our Australian friends and colleagues will both provide direct assistance and enable ADF personnel to get some much-needed respite," Mr Mark said.

"I am keeping in close touch with the Australian Minister of Defence, Senator Linda Reynolds, and we’re standing by to do whatever else we can."

The latest contingent comes in addition to the three Royal New Zealand Air Force RNZAF NH90 helicopters and crew, as well as two New Zealand Army Combat Engineer Sections, deployed on Monday.

The NZDF is also operating a C-130 aircraft, crew and support team out of Richmond Air Force base near Sydney, and two air load teams are supporting tasks throughout the country.

The latest contingent brings the number of NZDF personnel supporting the ADF to 112.