2 Sep 2009

US looking to boost training with NZ forces

7:10 pm on 2 September 2009

The head of the United States Pacific Command says America is looking to increase its joint training with New Zealand military forces.

Admiral Timothy Keating says the focus is on joint training in areas such as disaster relief, humanitarian aid, and search and rescue operations.

The admiral is in Wellington for a round of meetings with Defence Force staff, government ministers and the Prime Minister John Key on Friday.

It is not the first time the head of the US Pacific Command has visited New Zealand, and Admiral Keating says the relationship between the militaries is now as good as it has been since the mid-1980s.

Howerver, he believes there is still room for the countries to do more together, despite New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy standing in the way of ship visits by American naval vessels.

Prime Minister John Key says the visit is a reflection of the close relationship between New Zealand and the US.