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In the Dragons’ Den

Patrolling the Pacific

Feeling the Heat

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Deployable Comms in the Field

Contents 04

Pacific Patrols


Friends in the Air





I’ll be thinking of you

First Word



Op Burnham – Message from the Chief



Our heritage

Obituary – W/O Warren Tindall

28 Aumangea

24 30 Sport

33 Notices

34 Photo of the month


Deployable Comms in the Field


Feeling the Heat OUR MISSION The RNZAF will provide New Zealand with relevant, responsive and effective Air Power to meet its security interests.


OUR VISION An agile and adaptive Air Force with the versatility essential for NZDF operations.

Into the Dragons’ Den

COVER: Deployable Satellite Communications team PHOTOGRAPHER: CPL Dillon Anderson

Published by Defence Public Affairs HQ NZ Defence Force Wellington, New Zealand Editor Rebecca Quilliam Email: airforcenews@nzdf.mil.nz Design and Layout Defence Public Affairs Printed by Bluestar Private Bag 39996, Wellington Distribution Email: airforcenews@nzdf.mil.nz Editorial contributions and ideas are welcomed. They can be emailed directly to the Editor and do not need to be forwarded through normal command chains. Contributions need to include • writer’s name, rank and unit • photos provided separate from the text – at least 300dpi. Air Force News will hold the copyright for submitted articles or photographs it publishes. Articles and photographs published in Air Force News cannot be published elsewhere without permission. ISSN 1175–2327



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First Word I

nnovation is part of NZ’s national psyche, it is born from our history and natural optimism.

Of course you won’t always see the word ‘innovation’, rather you might find ‘flexibility’, ‘agility’, or ‘pragmatism’. However, the message is the same, success, growth, and victory will not come from resting on our laurels. These things require a willingness to lean-in and find ways to improve and innovate in order to adapt to our changing environment and to make the most of what we have.



“The Air Force is replete with stories of our people innovating to achieve mission and organisational success. The need for, and value of, innovation is littered through enduring NZ Defence policy and our doctrine.”

We are in the midst of an exciting organisational evolution that is unprecedented in my view (at least in the last 30 years). Defence Aviation Rules are upon us, growing threats in the space and cyber domains require stronger capability, Ohakea is receiving a major infrastructure investment, our technical trades (at least 30% of the Air Force) are evolving to match future fleets, and equipment changes, from new aviation fuel trucks to aircraft and the P-8A’s Mobile Tactical Operations Centre, are coming. This evolution heralds an opportunity to innovate, in fact I believe we must innovate to achieve success. As our Air Force creed states (in part) ‘embrace our future’. An innovative flexible outlook will be necessary in the coming years to successfully manage the introduction of new aircraft, regulatory systems and capabilities like space and cyber, but also to ensure those capabilities are optimised throughout their life. Planning to do things the same way with ‘different stuff’ would do us a disservice.

Instead, let’s innovate so we can do it better (effective and efficient) with ‘different stuff’ (be it equipment, regulations or people). We owe this to ourselves, those who will come after us, and to the people of NZ who we serve. Of course, innovation and agility must be managed, mission success and airworthiness require that we maintain appropriate controls. Thankfully, this requirement does not prevent innovation because we know our people are consistently creating extra value, be that day-to-day in the workplace or through the structured innovation at the recent ‘Dragons’ Den’. But, is it enough given we’re in the midst of an organisational evolution? I do not have the innovation ‘answers’ but Air Force people and our commercial partners and stakeholders do. The challenge for us all, especially for people like me in leadership roles, is to open our minds broadly enough to see the opportunities, manage the risks and act. I believe that if we don’t, the chance to make the most of what is coming and the resources we have now (many of which won’t change) will be missed. So, keep the ideas coming! Not just through the Dragons’ Den innovation challenge, let’s make it part of our thinking and action in all facets of Air Force life.

AIR FORCE NEWS #228  | 3

|  O P E R AT I O N S

Pacific patrols B Y


The Defence Force employed a range of methods to ensure patrols in the Pacific were successfully carried out, while also observing distancing procedures with Pacific partners to prevent any potential spread of Covid-19.

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O P E R A T I O N S  |

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he Defence Force conducts patrols in cooperation with Pacific nations, National Maritime Coordination Centre, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency and other agencies as part of New Zealand’s efforts to detect and deter illegal fishing and sustain fisheries for future generations. Recent missions by P-3K2 Orions included maritime surveillance flights to the Cook Islands, and Port Vila in Vanuatu, where they supported the 40th Anniversary of Independence, Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) Jack Barnett said. While patrolling the Cook Islands, aircrew were able to stay overnight at a hotel that met all the guidelines outlined by the Ministry of Health.


P-3K2 Orion RIGHT

No. 5 Squadron pilot FLTLT Stuart Glendinning

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“We’ve put in place procedures to mitigate the health risk to both our people and pacific partners. These mitigation measures determine how we get to and from the airport, what Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) we wear and what we do once we get to the hotel,” FLTLT Barnett said.

“New Zealand obviously tries to be a good Pacific partner, so it’s a good opportunity to step up and fly more in the Pacific and assist them in looking after their resources.”

“We minimise exposure by reducing interactions with local staff where possible, following social distancing advice and enhancing the cleaning of aircraft and equipment. We’re following all the guidelines set out by the Directorate of Air Force Safety and Health.”

“We can still achieve a significant amount of patrolling without landing in these countries. We never stopped patrolling during the first Covid lockdown, we just altered them to provide the same effect where possible. If we did need to land, it would just be to refuel and there would be minimal exposure to anyone on the ground.”

One of the most important reasons for keeping up the surveillance flights was because of the stress on the islands caused by the Covid pandemic, resulting in them being unable to do as much of the patrolling themselves, he said.

Even if New Zealand has a second wave of Covid, that would not mean the flights would cease, he said.

The first extended surveillance mission following the Covid lockdown was a three-day mission by a P-3K2 Orion aircraft over Solomon Islands’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a task coordinated by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).

O P E R A T I O N S  |

The targeted maritime surveillance patrol was requested by Solomon Islands Government in order to monitor the activities of tuna fleets in its EEZ, as part of FFA’s ongoing surveillance in the region to detect and deter illegal fishing activities.

Fisheries contribute about US$1 billion annually to the economies of Pacific countries and generate about 25,000 jobs. Fisheries revenue is particularly important at the moment due to the significant reduction in tourism revenue for many Pacific Island countries.

The tasking included surveillance of the Western border as well as the East and South fishing areas.

MPI Director of Compliance Gary Orr said patrols were now more important than ever.

FFA Director General Dr Manu Tupou Roosen said maritime patrols were a key way of enhancing their knowledge of what had been occurring at sea, as well as acting as an invaluable deterrent for illegal activities.

“New Zealand contributes to international efforts to monitor the high seas, which are areas of the ocean that fall between countries, for illegal fishing.

New Zealand High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Georgina Roberts said fisheries were a vital resource and valued asset of Pacific nations, “one that must be preserved and protected”.

“Restrictions in place to manage Covid-19 presented some challenges to that work, but having NZDF being able to undertake targeted and effective maritime surveillance is absolutely key to detecting any IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing.”

NZDF SUPPORT T O PAC I F I C N AT I O N S H A S A L S O R E C E N T LY INCLUDED: • delivering aid supplies to Vanuatu and Fiji in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Harold; • assisting with the repatriation of seasonal workers from Vanuatu who were in New Zealand and unable to return home due to border and travel restrictions as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic; and • delivery of PPE supplies to the Solomon Islands.

“Surveillance operations like this are ways in which New Zealand can continue to support Pacific nations to preserve this taonga.”

AIR FORCE NEWS #228  | 7


Deployable comms in the field Members of the Deployable Communications team recently took equipment and Pinzgauers up to a field in Northland and set about communicating with Pacific nations. The multinational exercise, led by the United States Indo-Pacific Command, was made up of a few different components, including High Frequency (HF) communications. A few of the team told Air Force News how it went.

OFFICE R CADET CAM R E I D Morale was high, motivated by the excitement of getting out into the field. There was some talk about a desire to best the Air Operations Communications Centre (AOCC), our sister section, in terms of contribution to the exercise. Perhaps a contestable goal, given that the AOCC had different priorities and therefore couldn’t dedicate the same effort to the exercise as us. After a smooth packup, we departed for Uretiti Beach Campsite, a beautiful piece of Department of Conservation land 30 minutes south of Whangarei, right on the beachfront. We had a huge amount of space, meaning our options for what antenna configurations to use were wide open. The team cracked into setting up the tents and the radio equipment, and in no time we were ready to start testing. Pretty quickly we had Fiji booming loud and clear.

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From there, the afternoon blurred into the evening, and into the night as we continued our testing with a variety of other participants, including Hawaii, Guam, and the Philippines. The team was tired, the day was long, but morale stayed high as we wrapped for the day. The following day the circuits started to get busy as a whole lot of other participants came up and were keen to start testing. Ultimately we were successful in contacting Australia, Hawaii, Guam, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh and the Philippines. An all around fantastic result for us, and the whole team had gained really valuable experience from it. We headed home the next day; just in time to be back safely before Alert Level 3 kicked in here in Auckland.

E X E R C I S E S  |



Depoyable Communications’ aerials TOP RIGHT

AC Jordan Moeke BOTTOM RIGHT ( L–R) LAC Kieran Martin, AC Jordan Moeke,

OCDT Cam Reid, CPL Andy McKay, AC Nick Stantiall


A I R C R A F T M A N N I C K S TA N T I A L L This was my first experience conducting long range HF comms from a field environment and I was able to put into practice the knowledge I’ve gained from the various units I’ve been posted to. It was encouraging to see that we were being so successful on our first day joining the exercise while also having plenty to work towards and keep us just as busy on day two. The second day left me with the highlight of the exercise, which was undertaking a method of HF communications that no one in our group had ever done before, Automatic Messaging Display (AMD). It is a form of passing messages through compatible radios and it’s a method that the Air Force wouldn’t normally use.

This international exercise gave us a reason to use it and to test with other countries giving the application of the messaging a bit more meaning. I was fortunate that I was the operator on the radio at the time we did the testing and was able to use my knowledge of the radio and the knowledge of those more experienced around me. We were able to successfully use this new method with Papua New Guinea and Hawaii. Considering we were able to send and receive messages a distance of over 7,000km away was extremely rewarding and hopefully a new skill to develop for the future.

During the exercise, we continuously adjusted our antenna setup based on the direction of each country that we were trying to point to and what frequency we were able to use at the time. Each frequency we used depended on a variety of different considerations such as geographical locations, time of day, authorisation and equipment capabilities, which all had an effect on the way we operated. Aside from operational outputs, we also needed to manage camp welfare including cooking meals and securing tents and other campsite facilities. The weather made this difficult on the first day when we woke to hours of pouring rain that tried to infiltrate our tents; fortunately, we were able to hold it off until the weather cleared later that day. In the end, the exercise was a great success in being able to test our knowledge and build new skills with partner nations in a deployed environment, alongside a team of competent operators.

AIR FORCE NEWS #228  | 9

|  F E AT U R E


Thirteen intrepid innovators faced seven judges in the recent Dragons’ Den-style Air Force Innovation Challenge.


he panel heard submissions ranging from robotic storage solutions, drones used for aircraft inspections, a tiny house proposal, using aviation fuel for cooking, cleaning up the Air Force’s carbon footprint, and an autonomous vehicle delivery system. The autonomous vehicle* won the day, but the judges were blown away by all the creative innovations presented to them. We take a look at just a few of the submissions.

*See Air Force News, Issue 227 for details.

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F E AT U R E     |

DRAGONS’ DEN JUDGES ( L–R) AVM Andrew Clark, GPCAPT Peter Johnson, GPCAPT Mike Cannon, CPL Jenn Harmon

Absent: SGT Reiner Angelo, Alexia Hilbertidou, Dr Lee Bint

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“Sun Tzu once said, ‘The line between disorder and order lies in logistics’.” This was how Aircraftman Johan Kloeg opened his presentation to the Air Force Innovation Challenge judging panel about investing in a storage space that holds 30,000 boxes that are stacked and managed by robots.


he concept earned him the Dragons’ Choice Award for embracing the spirit of innovation.

“What you’ve described is what the future looks like,” Chief of Air Force (CAF) Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Andrew Clark said after the panel had deliberated. “We think your idea shows good promise. Clearly something like this has a wider application across the NZDF.” Aircraftman (AC) Kloeg’s proposal involved the concept of efficient storage that would guarantee faster delivery, good condition and security of aircraft parts to fix aircraft in a timely fashion. He discovered the cube robotic picking and storage model after being challenged by his command to look into robotic storage solutions.

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“I came across the option I presented to the board. I felt pretty excited at that moment, I thought ‘This could be something that we could do’.” The option was called AutoStore – a large square storage space where up to 30,000 containers would be kept stacked on top of each other with no space in between and managed by robots that pick up and deliver the exact box needed. “It would cost about $4 million to implement. I was expecting about $10 – $20 million,” AC Kloeg said. “I wondered about incorporating it into the existing building, but the system goes quite high. Our existing buildings are not fit for purpose, they’ve been around since World War II.”

Being awarded the Dragons’ Choice Award was a pleasant surprise, he said. “I didn’t realise there was another award. I was really keen to see how CAF would take it. He set up a path for the idea to happen, and I also got to speak with Chief Joint Defence Services about it, which went really well.” AVM Clark said it was a “future vision piece that is pretty bold”. “It’s what we should be looking at. We were really impressed.”

F E AT U R E     |

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AERIAL INSPECTIONS A fear of heights prompted Safety Advisor Gill McFarlane to devise an innovation for Uninhabited Aerial Systems (UAS) to carry out maintenance inspections of the top of aircraft.


er proposal in the Dragons’ Den was for operators to fly UAS near large aircraft to look for defects including dents, pulled rivets, bird strike evidence and unsecured latches.

Mrs McFarlane admitted to feeling nerves in front of the panel of judges, but because she was so passionate about the idea and knew her material inside and out, the presentation flowed easily.

“From a personnel point of view it would mean putting our personnel in less dangerous situations. Inspections on aircraft take quite a lot of time, so by reducing the time people have to go up high, the likelihood of people falling off a stand, or a stand damaging the aircraft, is reduced.”

Following the judges’ deliberation, Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Andrew Clark told Mrs McFarlane to “just do it”.

The UAS would also be faster to set up over a slow-moving elevated work platform, she said. “Doing the inspections would also be quicker than moving stands around, which should increase aircraft availability.” Currently, scaffolding around the aircraft takes two days to set up and bring down.

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“It just makes sense. Our advice is to try not to make it too big a project at the start. Get the blockages out of the way and then grow it out from there.” AVM Clark also advised Mrs McFarlane chat with the Australian Air Force, which used UAS for inspections, and find out lessons they had learned.

F E AT U R E   |

A GREEN AIR FORCE Introducing hydrogen technology to the Air Force’s aircraft and vehicles would go a long way to contribute to the country’s goal of being net carbon zero by 2050, Warrant Officer John Phillips told the Innovation Challenge panel.


ir Force personnel should start discussing ways of de-carbonising our activities. The idea needs to take a foothold in our thinking when we come to replace or upgrade vehicles and equipment, and how we think about acquiring and using sources of energy. “Our ranks are full of young and smart people who can take the concept of de-carbonisation into the future,” Warrant Officer (W/O) Phillips said. The task for the leadership was to facilitate the change coherently to reduce our carbon footprint while maintaining the tempo of air operations, he said. “Once hydrogen fuel technologies adhere to a set of common standards and infrastructure becomes commonplace nationally and worldwide, then long-lifespan solutions can be embedded within Air Force systems.” When the Innovation Challenge was calling for submissions, W/O Phillips started looking at where the technology was taking the world and what stage it was at.

“I was quite surprised how hydrogen was starting to develop very quickly to complement batteries and low-carbon technologies.” Changes were already being discussed at a practical level, with the Maintenance Support Squadron at Ohakea investigating a hydrogenpowered shower unit, W/O Phillips said. “I think reducing reliance on fossil fuels is trending at the moment. It won’t go away automatically because our larger aircraft are using kerosene - at the moment we can’t buy a hydrogenpowered plane – but the technology is coming.” Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Andrew Clark said W/O Phillips had tackled one of the biggest topics of all. “You’ve basically come in here and solved climate change, which was a bigger innovation than I was expecting to see.” There needed to be a “top down” response to set plans in place as well as a “bottom up” movement to encourage organic processes, AVM Clark said.

“We want to invite you to join the Climate Change Working Group. There needs to be one approach to climate change. We are going to have a think about how we can encourage the grass roots thinking.”

“I think the Air Force can do it if there is a will to change and I think the change will come from the bottom up as new technologies are introduced and come onto the market, people will see them as viable alternatives.” AIR FORCE NEWS #228  | 15

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ADDING FUEL TO THE FIRE Using unused aviation fuel straight from the aircraft in field cookers, while on deployment in austere environments, will result in a more efficient mission and remove the need to buy fuel from the locals.


he innovation was presented by Corporal (CPL) Fraser Mewburn, who had been thinking about different ways to guarantee personnel could eat while on deployment. He knew Avtur fuel used in aircraft was kerosene-based and could be compatible with field cookers. “One night I experimented with different fuel types and a cooker to see what would and would not burn in it. I succeeded in getting Avtur to burn in it. On his next deployment, following the revelation, CPL Mewburn didn’t bring fuel for the cookers and instead used Avtur. The decision mitigated the risk to the packet commander, due to the potential of delayed flights or rejected consignments based on personal interpretation of doctrine. This meant an increase in the type of cargo that could be transported to include items that couldn’t travel near fuel. “It increased the efficiency of the frame. It also enabled us to ask the maintainers to give us a couple of litres when they did the fuel drain. We cooked over it for a number of weeks.”

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If the idea was formally adopted, it would mean airmen, soldiers and sailors would no longer need to purchase their own field cooking appliance and using the current in-service issued one, would ensure the use of any readily available fuel type, he said. “It gives you a huge amount of flexibility. It also means we’re not a burden on the locals’ existing supplies, especially in a HADR (Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief) situation.” CPL Mewburn gave his presentation via a phone call as he is deployed to the Middle East at the moment. But despite the distance, his presentation still made an impact on the panel. After the judging panels deliberations, Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Clark said the idea made sense. He suggested CPL Mewburn think about it from a wider New Zealand Defence Force perspective.

F E AT U R E   |

AIR FORCE FUTURE A surprise innovation at the end of the Innovation Challenge was presented by 11-year-old military enthusiast and inventor Richard Ferguson, who joined the Dragons’ Den by Zoom.


ichard had seen the challenge in an Air Force News and submitted a design he had invented for an electric jet. It detailed how the computerised control system incorporated electromagnets that switch from the North to South magnetic poles, which meant the piston head was being constantly pulled and pushed. After hearing how the design worked, Chief Engineer Group Captain Peter Johnson praised Richard’s concept.

Assistant Chief of Air Staff Training and Support Group Captain (GPCAPT) Mike Cannon said he liked that the design acknowledged some challenges, including the weight of the battery. But it came up with a countermeasure of having a lighter aircraft design using carbon fibre and titanium. He asked Richard if he was planning to join the Air Force, and Richard replied that was his plan. “I’ll tell my guys to look out for you,” GPCAPT Cannon said.

“You’d need to have the piston on some kind of rod, but it looks like you’ve already worked that out.”

GirlBoss Founder Alexia Hibertidou asked Richard what his dream invention was.

He asked where the energy for the electro magnets would come from and Richard explained they could be recharged in the air by solar power.

“I want to help the world and advance it by using technology,” he replied.

“You could also have a fossil fuel engine as a back-up,” Richard said.

“I couldn’t think of a better goal to have. Thanks for submitting this and I wish you all the best. I will be looking out for you in the future.”

Aircraft Technician Sergeant Reiner Angelo noted that engines he worked on would normally have thousands of moving parts and it was impressive that Richard’s design only had two.

Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Clark said that was an “audacious” goal.

AIR FORCE NEWS #228  | 17


Creating medical memories B Y


Creating memories and stories like his grandfather did was one of the reasons Aircraftman Jack O’Leary joined the Air Force as a medic.


e has just completed two and half years of training and study at Defence Health School based at Burnham Military Camp, which culminated in a physically and mentally challenging exercise in the frigid Tekapo Military Training area. “I was interested in working in the medical field, the austere and greatly varied environment that the New Zealand Defence Force offered was greatly appealing to me,” he said. Aircraftman (AC) O’Leary’s granddad served in British Royal Navy and he always enjoyed his stories. “I always adored his stories about the military, and I especially appreciated how tight of a bond he seemed to form with his fellow soldiers. I want to tell stories like my grandad did. “I would always see the soldiers on parade at dawn services as a kid, and I just thought they looked so impressive,” he said. He is looking forward to the next part of his journey and continuing to learn. “I want to leave the health school with as open a mind as I entered it. I hope to keep on learning and meeting new people.


AC Jack O’Leary

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“I have really enjoyed the on-the-job experience trips. I have been able to go to a variety of bases from every service for short periods, as well as meeting a wide range of people from different walks of life,” AC O’Leary said. Defence Health School, Chief Instructor Major (MAJ) Neil Corlett said the recent exercise the medic students took part in was scenario based and linked closely to what a medic might face in their career. “By putting them through this training we are acclimating them to the competing demands of battlespace pressures and confirming their clinical decision-making ability is up to task if and when they are faced with it for real,” he said. The training confirmed what the students have been taught over the past two and a half years – to stay calm, communicate, manage and treat casualties, all under challenging time and environmental pressures, MAJ Corlett said. “New Zealand Defence Force medics are considered world-class, and this is not a reputation earned without significant effort. It is not an easy course, and as these individuals form the core of our New Zealand Defence Force health system, they have a very important job from day one after graduating.”

O P E R AT I O N S   |

Rotary wings to the rescue of their feathered friends B Y


When you are a little fairy tern with only 40 of you in the world, you will take any help you can get to survive!

“The new shell patch breeding sites have created safer places for tara iti to nest on, protecting them from tidal inundation and sand blow.” – Ayla Wiles DoC Biodiversity Ranger


uckily for the fairy tern/tara iti, help came in the form of assistance from Air Force’s rotary wing force and personnel.

This is not the first time the NZDF has helped out the rare bird. The Papakanui site is at the mouth of the Kaipara Harbour on Defence Force land.

The New Zealand tara iti is the country’s most endangered bird with only 12 breeding pairs in the world. They are found in the lower half of Northland making homes in Mangawhai, Northland and Papakanui, Kaipara. Due to their breeding habitats, using shallow unprotected nests, the tara iti are easy prey to predators, people, four wheel drive vehicles and dogs.

Last year defence assets assisted in building two large nesting mounds and enlarging seven other mounds that were built in 2018.

Early last month an NH90 and Seasprite joined forces to transport 50 tonnes of locally sourced shell and other materials to breeding sites for the construction of man-made breeding houses for the bird. Due to the dedication of a number of Department of Conservation (DoC) staff, with funding from The Shorebirds Trust and support from the Tara Iti Golf Club, local iwi Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara, Te Uri o Hau and Ngāti Manuhiri, along with the NZDF, their upcoming breeding season has been given a boost.

DoC biodiversity ranger Ayla Wiles said they created new shell nests for the birds last year and had success with one pair laying an egg. “When you are talking small numbers of birds, one success, like using a safer nest to breed, is a huge step forward. Other than predator control, habitat enhancement is the most important action that can be taken to ensure tara iti survival. “In the past we’ve had nests impacted by high winds, which meant parent birds couldn’t find their eggs and king tides wash nests away. The new sites are placed in the rear of the dunes, providing more protection for chicks and their parents.”

AIR FORCE NEWS #228  | 19


Feeling the heat B Y


It’s been a longer road than normal for new Air Force firefighters to start learning their trade, with the Covid-19 lockdown keeping them confined to Base Woodbourne after their recruit course had finished.


AC Martyn Schnelle MIDDLE ( L–R) AC Sarah Farrell, AC Luke Vautier RIGHT

Fire training inside a building

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owever, training began in earnest for the group of seven new Air Force firefighters last month. It includes extinguishing fires on aircraft, rescuing passengers, extracting casualties from car crashes, medical response and fires in buildings. None of it is easy. “During the realistic fire training building phase the students will need all their mental resilience because it’s a very hot environment, up to 300˚C within the building,” instructor Sergeant (SGT) Robert Brown said. The training was physically demanding with the pressure sustained every day. “They really have to dig into their reserves and that’s where mental toughness comes into it. They also need to keep a cool head throughout, because in that environment sometimes flames are rolling over them, but they can’t panic, because panic is not going to help the people in there or help their teammates.” The trade required good physical fitness and even physical training instructors who did the same training, found the sustained pace exhausting, SGT Brown said.

Trainee, Aircraftman (AC) Stefan Kahu, was pleased to be starting his career after spending so much time at Base Woodbourne because of the lockdown, which resulted in being kept from his wife and child for a lot longer than expected. “We were supposed to go home and we didn’t get that opportunity. I’ve got a wife and a boy at home – and he turned two while I was down there. So that was a bit of a shame. “Not knowing when we were going home was pretty tough and not knowing what was happening with our training – everything was cancelled and nobody knew what was happening. I wondered whether I’d made the right decision. But it’s definitely worth it in the end.” He had enjoyed the training, especially the aircraft fuselage work at Ōpunake, in south Taranaki, where they were extinguishing pressurised fuel engine fires.

“We’re pretty lucky in the Air Force that we’ve got the opportunity to get out there and use those facilities.” AC Sara Farrell, who was on the same recruit course as AC Kahu, said it had felt like her career had a “hurry up and wait” element with the slow start. But since training had started, it had definitely improved. “Ōpunake was awesome and has been a high point in my career.” She was also looking forward to the live fire training at Linton Camp. “This time the live fire will be with buildings. I’m really excited about that.” AC Farrell is a powerlifter and she chose the firefighting trade because it fit in well with her sport training. “I love how physically demanding it is,” she said.

“We were tasked with entering the aircraft, extinguishing fires on the inside and conducting a primary search, shutting down the aircraft, then conducting a secondary search and removing any casualties as required. “It was a pretty good week,” he said.

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I’ll be thinking of you B Y



Doug Kelly, third from the left, with the RNZAF Show Band in Bougainville, 1944, during a two-week tour of the Pacific entertaining NZ and US troops TOP RIGHT

Doug Kelly with the show’s programme BOTTOM

RNZAF Band playing I’ll Be Thinking of You to Doug Kelly and his friends and family FAR RIGHT

Doug Kelly and Air Force Music Director FLTLT Dave Gallaher

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A chance discovery has led the Air Force band to re-connect with World War II veteran, and last surviving member of the wartime band, 98-yearold Leading Aircraftman (Rtd) Doug Kelly.


n 1944, while stationed with the band in Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Doug wrote a song ‘I’ll Be Thinking of You’ for his then fiancée Joy who was back in Christchurch. Fast forward 75 years and RNZAF Band Director Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) Dave Gallaher discovered the sheet music for ‘I’ll Be Thinking of You’ in some boxes in the band room. “I made contact with Doug to enquire about the song and such a delightful story evolved. We wanted to be able to connect with him and play his song to him,” he said. Doug was surprised to get the call. “I never thought I’d hear it again, I was very fascinated to find out that they found my song.”

O U R H E R I TA G E   |

The band played a short concert to Doug and his family at the Air Force Museum in Wigram last month, including his song. The band’s arranger Sergeant Andre Paris had rearranged Doug’s song for a vocalist and the band – fittingly the vocalist was the arranger’s wife Leading Aircraftman Stephanie Paris. FLTLT Gallaher said it was special to perform the song to Doug and members of his family. “The legacy of Doug and his fellow musicians in the wartime RNZAF Band is significant. “It was fitting to honour the band’s most senior alumni not only for his wartime service, but also for the wonderful contribution Doug has made to enrich

the lives of thousands of children in the Canterbury area,” he said. ‘I’ll Be Thinking of You’ was published by Charles Begg & Co, a piano and musical goods retailer in New Zealand and the band played it on their tour of Australia in 1945, becoming a regular tune. “It was played everywhere, especially on our tour of Australia, and broadcast on shortwave radio programmes, which Joy and her family heard back in New Zealand. “That was my start, and it was a real boost for me. It was a very important part of my life because it started my career of writing arrangements for various groups and radio programmes,” said Doug.

Doug said he has very fond memories of the band and the experiences he had while serving. “They were all very fine musicians.” Doug and Joy married in January 1946 following the war, and enjoyed 69 wonderful years together. Following the war Doug left the band and went on to have a career in music that included being a music teacher and spending more than 20 years as the District Music Advisor for Canterbury schools, and to this day still plays his trumpet.

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|  O U R H E R I TA G E

Victory! Celebrating 75 years since the end of World War II B Y


On 15 August 1945, the most destructive conflict in human history finally ended, with what was then known as VJ Day (Victory over Japan).


o commemorate this historic anniversary, the Air Force Museum has opened a new photographic exhibition, featuring images from its archives, a selection of which have been reproduced here. Victory! is a record of that momentous time, when New Zealand joined the world in celebration, and our Air Force began the gradual transition from war to peace.



To ensure the news of the surrender reached remote Japanese forces, leaflets were air-dropped and aircraft had messages painted on them in Japanese. Here, Australian and New Zealand airmen look at leaflets announcing the news, while the RAAF Beaufort has “Japan surrenders” painted on it. Piva, Bougainville, 11 August 1945.

Airmen and friends celebrate the end of the War at the Victory Ball at RNZAF Station Rongotai, September 1945.


By mid-1946 the number of Air Force staff had shrunk from 42,000 to 5,300 and thousands of airmen returned home. This image shows a large group of returned airmen waiting at a wharf terminal. THREE

Representing New Zealand at the formal signing of the end of the war, was the Chief of Air Staff, Air-Vice Marshal Sir Leonard Isitt, signing the document while General Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief of the US Army Forces in the Pacific, watches on .


When wartime operations ceased, hundreds of RNZAF aircraft were left surplus to requirements. After the war about 400 aircraft were flown to the airfield at Rukuhia and parked up in rows. There they sat for the next 20 years, being stripped of parts and melted down for scrap metal. Here, Kittyhawk and Corsair fighters await their fate. SEVEN

By the end of World War II, 3,635 RNZAF personnel had been killed on active service, including 350 in the Pacific. This image, from the personal album of RNZAF Photographer G.H. Berry, is a poignant reminder of those losses, showing crosses marking New Zealand airmen’s graves in a jungle clearing near Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.


RNZAF airmen get a close-up look at a Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero fighter, at Piva, Bougainville, 15 September 1945. It was shipped to New Zealand as a war prize. The Zero was presented to the Auckland War Memorial Museum in 1959, where it remains on display today .

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V I S I T: For more on the Victory! exhibitionairforcemuseum.co.nz/ whats-on/victory


O U R H E R I TA G E   |


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Operation Burnham – a message from the Chief The Inquiry report into Operation Burnham is the result of a comprehensive process involving many of our people and thousands of documents. I am grateful to the Inquiry heads, Sir Terence Arnold and the Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer for their work.


he report makes it clear that our forces in Operations Burnham and Nova behaved with the courage, commitment and integrity we expect. It concludes the operations were professionally carried out and, importantly, conducted in accordance with the rules of engagement and international law.



“While the Inquiry finds there was no organised strategy within the NZDF to cover up our role in Operation Burnham, we fell well short of the standards we set ourselves. We must, and will, work to make sure that cannot happen again.”

New Zealanders can be proud of the professionalism and integrity of our men and women who served on those Operations. One person was killed by New Zealand ground forces, and this action was in accordance with the rules of engagement and international humanitarian law. The report concludes that, as well as insurgents, it is likely there were civilian casualties either killed or injured during the operation. The report confirms that New Zealand forces were not involved in these casualties. Any loss of civilian life in a conflict area is regrettable. Operation Burnham was a complex operation against insurgents who had carried out unlawful attacks on New Zealand and other international troops. It was a successful operation that disrupted Taliban activity. The report also makes it clear that the New Zealand Defence Force made mistakes in its briefings to Ministers and the public, which led to them being given incorrect information regarding the possibility of civilian casualties. For that I am deeply sorry. For us to maintain the trust of the people we serve we must be accountable. While the Inquiry finds there was no organised strategy within the NZDF to cover up our role in Operation Burnham, we fell well short of the standards we set ourselves. We must, and will, work to make sure that cannot happen again.

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The Inquiry criticised NZDF’s failure to investigate the reports of civilian casualties at the time and emphasised that the NZDF required not just better systems and reporting processes, but also a culture that supported these systems. We have made some changes and as Chief of Defence Force I will take responsibility for continuing to make more. The Inquiry found that a soldier struck a prisoner who was being transported to an Afghan prison. Behaviour of this type is not what we expect, or demand, of our people. It also made recommendations on the evolving and complex areas of international law regarding detention during partnered operations. We will work closely with other agencies to ensure our frontline commanders have clarity around detention policies and procedures when working alongside international forces and partners. We accept and will implement the four recommendations regarding record keeping, oversight of the NZDF, orders regarding processes in the event of reports of civilian casualties and the development of government policy on detention. I would like to also acknowledge the soldiers from our SAS, and their families, who have had significant pressure placed on them. This report draws this matter to a close and they can now move on. Finally, I am proud of the NZDF’s service in Afghanistan and especially so of those who served on Operation Burnham. They typified our values: courage, commitment, comradeship and integrity. I thank them for that.


Warrant Officer Warren John “Buffa” Tindall Last month one of the Air Force’s stalwarts passed away after a long illness. At his funeral his friend and colleague, Air Force Museum of New Zealand director Brett Marshall spoke of Warrant Officer Warren Tindall’s life and the exceptional person that he was.


have known Warren for over 30 years whilst serving in the RNZAF and for the last two years I had the privilege of working alongside him here at the Air Force Museum. Warren John Tindall, affectionately known as Buffa, joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force on the 30th September 1980 as a young fresh faced 18-year-old. He initially joined as an Avionics Mechanic before re-mustering to the Supply trade. In 1988 he applied for Air Loadmaster and went on to fly on the Andover, Boeing 727, Hercules and Boeing 757 aircraft. Warren flew all over the world. He saw operational service in Iran and Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and East Timor. He flew as VIP crew on numerous flights during his career including flights for five different New Zealand Prime Ministers. Antarctica was a huge part of Warren’s career and one which was very much a highlight.

Warren travelled to Antarctica over 50 times and was held in incredibly high regard by members of the Antarctic community. This was recognised in 2014, when he was awarded the New Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal for Exemplary Service and Commitment to Antarctica New Zealand.

As well as a professional operator, Warren was also an accomplished sportsman. He played tennis, golf and rugby as well as softball where he was always in the outfield because he had an arm like a rocket. But it was probably weight training where Warren was most legendary.

Warren was a highly decorated and professional member of the RNZAF. Just yesterday I heard him described as the epitome of the perfect Warrant Officer – he never raised his voice, always saw the positive, led by example, and fiercely loved the RNZAF and the Defence Force.

But Warren’s greatest achievement was just who he was as a person.

This was so true of his time here at the Air Force Museum which was to be his final posting – his influence was huge. A perfect example was during the Covid-19 lockdown. Warren was directly involved with ensuring that all of our 70-odd volunteers were contacted to check on their welfare. A number have commented on just how much that meant to them.

The day before Warren passed away I popped out to see him. He was sitting in the sunshine and despite all he was going through his first words to me were “how you doing pal?”. And that typified the man he was. I know that right now Warren would be most concerned with how we are doing. So my friend we are a bit sad because we miss you. To have known you was a blessing and I can honestly say that knowing you has made me a better person. The ripples your life has made will continue long into the future. They will be reflected in those whose lives you have influenced and you will be forever remembered. Rest easy my friend. AIR FORCE NEWS #228  | 27


Aumangea, holding a mirror to the soul B Y



here are many courses in the Defence Force that teach and train new skills, however, Aumangea is unique in its purpose of identifying and developing the core personal traits of the soldiers, sailors and airmen who volunteer for the programme.

Aumangea is to be strong, brave, persistent, determined, forceful, plucky, resilient, resolute, steadfast and tenacious.

Earlier this year, 24 service personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Canadian Armed Forces commenced a programme often referred to by many as ‘that hard army course’. Over five weeks, various urban, maritime and green role operational environments were simulated to emulate what we volunteers may experience on deployment.


We engaged in many exercises including military unarmed combat, urban and maritime components, reconnaissance, patrolling/pack marching and resource acquisition.

End of Green Mile line up BOTTOM LEFT


Physical training FAR RIGHT

LAC Connor Spice

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These exercises are created by the programme director (former Special Air Services operator Daryn Te Uamairangi) and his team of facilitators in order to challenge the students, helping them understand their strengths and weaknesses. To date there has never been an Air Force woman volunteer for the programme, so that title is up for grabs. For Leading Aircraftman (LAC) Conor Spice, the combined effect of multiple exercises proved to be a challenge. “All of them strung together over five weeks, with time for reflection in between has an ego crushing effect. The result is that you get the chance to see and know yourself in a way most people never do.

“I saw things differently for the first time and realised what really mattered to me. It was a level of clarity I’ve never had before and was worth far more than the discomfort it cost me. It’s often called a ‘survival programme’, but this is a misnomer used to label something far more complicated – it’s a programme designed to use a variety of methods to break away your layers of self and show you what you’re really made of,” he said. LAC Sevi Rust described the programme as “something you couldn’t get anywhere else”. “I’m proud to have done it but wouldn’t think of doing it again. The programme taught me many techniques to push through physical and mental barriers. The facilitators provided extreme situations where we needed to exercise these techniques to get through.

“They said Aumangea would hold a mirror for you to see who you are. I learned a lot about what kind of person I am and was given constructive feedback to better myself,” he said. “The highlights of the programme were working, struggling, winning with my teammates and the sense of accomplishment you get from completing it. “Everyone had their own personal challenges and obstacles and everyone had their own rewards. I truly believe that nobody was unchanged by the experience, whether that change be deeper personal understanding, developing core traits or simply reframing mind sets. “Aumangea has provided me with experience and development, which will prove beneficial returning to my workplace.”

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Focussing on the positives B Y


NZDF Invictus Games 2020 team member Flight Sergeant Mike Cotton is focussing on the positives Covid-19 has thrust upon him and his teammates.


he Invictus Games The Hague 2020 were scheduled for this May, but Covid-19 forced their postponement for a year, and there’s a good chance it could be virtual. The NZDF team held a Reconnect+Reset camp at Base Auckland recently and Flight Sergeant (F/S) Cotton said it was great to renew in person the friendships the team had forged and to jointly look to the future. “I think the team we have assembled will be unique because effectively we’re getting two bites at this now. We’ve got double the time, double the bonding, and you can see that at this camp.”

F/S Cotton spent 18 years in the Royal Air Force before joining the RNZAF in 2006, and said his service had led to “a few dings and knocks along the way. He was just 19 when he served in the first Gulf War and later served on other military operations. He said it was easy to brush aside what he went through at the time but that added up over the years and he was eventually diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Six years ago he suffered a significant head trauma while training for a triathlon – an injury he is still recovering from and which, combined with his PTSD, makes swim training challenging. He couldn’t swim during lockdown so focussed on cycling and while he’s back in the pool now he said the experience had forced him to rethink his training and his priorities.


Carl Booty MIDDLE

F/S Mike Cotton and Carl Booty doing cycling training RIGHT

F/S Mike Cotton

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“I’ve prioritised cycling because if the Games have a virtual format the sport had quite a strong virtual community. What I’ve realised is if I’d gone to the Games when it was to take place, I’d have been a keen bloke on a bike but I actually think now, given an extra 12 months, I could potentially go as a credible cyclist. There’s quite a difference.” Veteran Carl Booty was an Air Force photographer for nearly 20 years, first with the Royal Air Force and then for about 13 years with the Royal New Zealand Air Force. His experiences on the job left him with PTSD, depression and anxiety.

Like F/S Cotton, his focus turned to cycling, and he was also able to set up a target in his backyard so could continue his archery. “I’m back up to where I was fitness-wise, so I can only get better. I’m 53 years old, I haven’t been on a bike since I was 16, so I’m doing it for me,” he said. He’s aiming a little higher with archery, and planning to continue after the Games by getting into coaching. “Then I can bring that back to the next Invictus Games team, and the next one after that – for the Invictus family.” The NZDF Invictus Games team is supported by Fulton Hogan and Dynasty.

“I think the team we have assembled will be unique because effectively we’re getting two bites at this now. We’ve got double the time, double the bonding, and you can see that at this camp.” – Flight Sergeant Mike Cotton

He initially found it hard to stay motivated during lockdown and went a few weeks without doing anything before realising how quickly his speed and fitness were dropping.

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World Record Challenge B Y


Corporal Simon Trye isn’t just running a half marathon to raise money for a children’s charity, he’s doing it while attempting to break the world record running the race in full firefighting kit with a breathing apparatus on. And it’s not going to be easy.

WA NT TO H E LP ? To help CPL Trye’s fundraising go to: https://aucklandmarathon2020. everydayhero.com/nz/simon-trye

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he senior firefighter at Base Auckland will be running the 21.125km race at the Auckland Marathon in November. “There’s only been two people, who I know of, who have done the same thing. The most recent was a guy in Pennsylvania, who did it a couple of years ago, because his father was a firefighter who died in the line of duty. That’s where I got the idea from. “I did the maths on how fast I would need to go and realised it was quite achievable.” In order to break the record, Corporal (CPL) Trye will need to complete every kilometre in less than 10 minutes – about the speed of a fast walk. The breathing apparatus gives air for about 30 to 40 minutes before the cylinder needs changing, so he will need to stop about five or six times over the course. “My crew from work have the day off, so they’re going to come along and give me a hand,” he said.

“I was keen for the challenge, but I also wanted to help other people out at the same time, so I looked at the charity partners on the Auckland Marathon’s website and one was KidsCan and I’m all about helping the kids. The charity helps under privileged children by donating food, clothing and hygiene products. “Adults can generally help themselves to some degree, but kids can’t help when times are tough at home.” The gear weighs about 25kg and a colleague will be following CPL Trye with a medical kit in case of an emergency. “I’ve been in touch with Guinness and the record to beat is three and a half hours. The guy from Pennsylvania did it in three hours and 36 minutes, so no official record has been set yet. “During the Covid-19 lockdown I would train around the neighbourhood and everyone knew what I was doing. The kids come out and wave, which is pretty good. I’m enjoying it.”

N O T I C E S  |

Notices AIR FORCE INNOVATION CHALLENGE Innovation does not stand still. The inaugural AFIC20 event attracted an unexpected flood of entries, with all 27 innovation ideas not just those presented at the Dragons’ Den, being assessed and explored for possible implementation.

AIRMAN CADET CLASS OF 1970 50TH REUNION 50th Reunion (Covid-19 delayed) for 27th Intake RNZAF Airman Cadets.

If you have a great innovative idea, do not Dragons’ Den judging panel wait, submit your innovation via the Air Force Innovation Portal on DIXS http://orgs/sites/ armint/I-0003/default.aspx#/Air-Force-Innovation as your innovation could be developed and implemented prior to the next iteration of AFIC.

41 SQUADRON REUNION AUCKLAND MARCH 26–28 Details to follow... Watch this space

We are planning a get together in Blenheim on the weekend of February 19–21, 2021 February 19 Dinner on at RNZAF Base Woodbourne February 20 Gather at the Clubs of Marlborough  Visit to Omaka and/or vineyards  Dinner and refreshments February 21 Visit to RNZAF Base Woodbourne Invitation is extended to any Staff from 1970 also. Contact Brian Graham (Guntha) at: briangraham222@gmail.com 

Help us recognise excellence in health and safety Nominations for the 2020 NZDF Safety Awards are now open. The awards are open to any person or unit in the NZDF that has gone above and beyond the call of duty, leading by example in demonstrating and promoting excellence in health, safety and wellbeing, regardless of rank, status (civilian, military or contractor), or whether health and safety is part of their role or not.

You can find out more about the categories on the Directorate of Safety’s intranet page (ILP / HQNZDF / Directorate of Safety) or simply submit your nomination and the organisers will determine the best match. Most of the activity described needs to have taken place over the past 12 months or so. Who can nominate? Any member of the NZDF can nominate. How long should a nomination be? Depends on the level of detail, but a good guideline is not more than one A4 page (excluding any endorsement or support statements).

Keen to know more? Have any questions? For more details on categories, inspiration from past winners, timeline and format, check out the Directorate of Safety’s intranet page, or email your query to NZDFSafety@nzdf.mil.nz. Nominations close on Monday, 21 September.


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There’s a lot of very specific photographic skills required for our job, and air to air photography is one of my favourites to work on. Exercise Blackbird this year was a great chance for me to spend some time with No. 3 SQN in the Kaikoura Ranges practising new techniques. The team flew through some incredible scenery, occasionally dropping me off on freezing mountain tops along the way. For this particular shot, I was looking out the back ramp of one NH90, photographing the other as we passed from deep valleys to snowy mountains. My goal here was to capture rotor blur – pushing my camera settings to get as much motion in the rotor blades as possible, while still keeping everything else sharp.

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Profile for New Zealand Defence Force

Royal New Zealand Air Force | Air Force News - Issue 228, September 2020  

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