Sixty Police and civilian Search and Rescue volunteers will be honing their skills in the annual Wellington District SAREX at Kaitoke late next week.
Sergeant Andy Warnes, head of Wellington Police Search and Rescue, says search management, clue awareness, tracking, patient recovery and treatment skills are included in the exercise which is being held in the Marchant Ridge and Tauherenikau Valley areas at the southern end of the Tararua Forest Park.
The exercise runs from late on Friday 21 November to Sunday afternoon, 23 November with a headquarters base operating from Kiwi Ranch.
Sergeant Warnes says a Royal New Zealand Air Force Iroquois will be used throughout the weekend, particularly in the winching phases.
"The participants will be set a variety of tasks and some teams will be camped out in the bush," he says. "Other users in the park should not be concerned if they see or hear a helicopter being deployed."
Police, land SAR volunteers and amateur radio operators will be taking part.
"Weâ€™ve had more than 50 land based search and rescue operations in the Wellington District already this year, and some of those like the search for Coral Burrows in the Wairarapa and the plane crash off Kapiti were very intensive," Sergeant Warnes says.
"The SAREX tests our knowledge and gives us new skills so we can provide an even better operation for people who need us when they strike trouble."