The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is set to withdraw its remaining military troops from Afghanistan following a 20-year deployment.

The withdrawal follows the conclusion of the deployment this year.

New Zealand Joint Forces commander rear admiral Jim Gilmour noted that the six personnel currently in Afghanistan would return to their homeland within a few months.

Since the US-led invasion in 2001, New Zealand had deployed more than 3,500 defence and other agency workforce to Afghanistan.

During this period, ten New Zealanders lost their lives in the line of duty.

Gilmour added: “Our NZDF trainers and mentors have made a valuable contribution to the academy which has been developing to self-sufficiency, with our support no longer needed.

“We are also proud to have contributed to women, peace and security initiatives in Afghanistan, and look forward to seeing further progress in Afghanistan as this work continues.

“It has been a privilege to support our Afghan partners and serve alongside them over the years.”

Recently, the NZDF has been supporting the ‘Nato-led mentoring for the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA)’.

In September, ANAOA academy graduated its 5,000th officer.

The troops have also worked at the Nato Resolute Support Mission headquarters and supported ‘Women, Peace and Security initiatives’.

Last year, the NZDF conducted a critical training exercise in the South Auckland and Papakura areas to maintain its operational readiness.