30 Sep 2012

Commander welcomes lifting of US ban

9:57 am on 30 September 2012

The commander of a Navy ship that has taken part in major naval exercises says the end of the ban on New Zealand vessels visiting US ports is a huge positive.

Two Navy ships returned home on Saturday after a four-month deployment, which included participating in the world's largest naval exercise.

HMNZS Endeavour and HMNZS Te Kaha took part in three major operations, including the Rim of the Pacific exercise off Hawaii.

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta announced the lifting of the ban on 21 September, during a visit to New Zealand.

Endeavour's commanding officer, Keith Robb says being able to berth at Pearl Harbour in future will be an advantage.

"The sailors can gain more one-to-one with their contemporaries in many other navies," he said.