Kiwi frigate first to visit US in 25 years

by Tim Flanagan on June 23, 2010

Hank Schouten has this story in the (New Zealand) Dominion Post:

SHIP VISIT: The frigate Te Kaha has become the first New Zealand navy ship to tie up at a mainland United States port in 25 years.The frigate Te Kaha has sailed into Seattle harbour to become the first New Zealand navy ship to tie up at a mainland United States port since 1985.

A quarter of a century since the Anzus bust-up over New Zealand’s ban on nuclear armed or powered warships, story Te Kaha and the navy tanker Endeavour sailed into the port without fanfare on Sunday, denture apparently to avoid drawing attention to the significance of the latest event in the slow thaw in US and New Zealand defence relations.

The Defence Force declined a request to send a photo of the ships arriving in port or to speak to Te Kaha‘s captain, order Commander Matt Williams.

The ships are not being accorded full military-diplomatic courtesies – they have had to tie up at civilian docks rather than being invited into the US navy base at Seattle.

But a brief exercise en route was another small step towards restoration of long-severed ties, with Te Kaha taking part in naval manoeuvres with a US destroyer and two Japanese frigates off Japan.

Te Kaha would remain in Seattle before sailing into San Francisco next weekend. A week later, it would spend several days in San Diego before sailing home via Honolulu.

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