Royal New Zealand Air Force | Air Force News - Issue 224, May 2020

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Relief after Cyclone Harold

Air Force Covid-19 Response

Late Night Orion Rescue

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In Defence of the First Responders

Contents 04

Relief after Cyclone Harold





Late Night Orion Rescue

First Word



Space and Covid–19




Right on Target

Our Heritage

25 Quiz / Notices

26 Photo of the Month


Covid-19 Response Special Feature 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. COVER: LAC Hayden Cleminson PHOTOGRAPHER: LAC Dillon Anderson



How the Bases Coped

Maritime Surveillance



Air Force-led Repatriation Team

Operating Under Lockdown

Published by Defence Public Affairs HQ NZ Defence Force Wellington, New Zealand Editor Rebecca Quilliam Email: Design and Layout Defence Public Affairs Printed by Bluestar Private Bag 39996, Wellington Distribution Email: 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 T

he last few weeks have challenged and tested us, as families, as an Air Force, a Defence Force and as a country. Many things have had to change to accommodate the lockdown in order for us to flatten the curve of the Covid–19 pandemic, and we have endured unprecedented changes to our daily lives. Of particular note is the cancellation of the Anzac Day public commemorations for the first time in its history. This poignant day of remembrance has been observed for over 100 years – even through the peak of World War II where, although large crowds were discouraged due to security concerns, wreath laying ceremonies still carried on.



“It was extremely humbling to walk outside on Anzac morning and see the street lined with people standing silently at their driveways, with echoes of the broadcasted Anzac Day service audible throughout our neighbourhood.”

Yet New Zealanders were not deterred from remembering the brave sacrifices made by our servicemen and women. As important as it is to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for New Zealand, it is also important to recognise the continuing work done by you, the personnel of the Air Force and wider Defence Force. Whether you are supporting our operations while working from home (and in some cases while juggling home schooling and running a household), or putting yourself at increased risk of the invisible Covid–19 enemy by breaking your bubble to carry out essential tasks on our bases, the work you are doing is valued and extremely important. Kia kaha

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Relief after devastation B Y


A C-130 Hercules has delivered tonnes of aid to Pacific islands suffering widespread devastation from Tropical Cyclone Harold, which hit in April. The aircraft was also able to return dozens of people to New Zealand, who had been stranded in the islands because of Covid–19 travel restrictions.

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O P E R AT I O N S   |

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The Category 5 cyclone flattened buildings, cut power and damaged trees and crops, as well as tragically killing 27 people who were swept off a ferry in high seas.


housands of people were made homeless, drinking water was affected, and many people were left relying on aid for food after the cyclone destroyed crops. Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour said the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deliver emergency supplies to the islands affected. In the days after the disaster, a P-3K2 Orion flew aerial surveillance over Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu, to help the governments of those countries assess the damage and determine how to respond to the disaster.


Relief aid being packed onto a C-130 bound for Vanuatu CENTRE & TOP RIGHT

Relief aid arriving in Vanuatu BOTTOM RIGHT

An R66 commercial helicopter that was transported to Vanuatu

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C-130 aircraft flew six flights delivering nearly 30 tonnes of vital aid to help with relief efforts in Fiji and Vanuatu. Air Movements Warrant Officer (W/O) Dan Young said they delivered tarpaulins, water containers, chainsaw kits, agricultural tool kits, family hygiene kits, generators and some satellite phones. Also on board the first flight to Vanuatu was a privatelyowned Robinson R66 helicopter.

The civilian helicopter needed careful packing with different tie-down points so it was not damaged during the flight, he said. “They are a lot more delicate than military helicopters so there needed to be considerations around how we could constrain it.” Extra care was taken with the six flights to avoid any possible transferral of the virus, with all cargo sanitised before it left New Zealand and again when it arrived. Air load teams operated in bubbles, personal hygiene and other measures were undertaken by personnel, and medical teams were also on hand to assist where required. The flights from both islands also repatriated people to New Zealand, who underwent a two-week quarantine period in Auckland. Among the passengers the C-130 brought back to New Zealand from Vanuatu were six Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) volunteers who were working on the island.

O P E R A T I O N S  |

VSA chief executive Stephen Goodman said the sight of the aircraft at Port Vila was a welcome one as it was unknown when they would be able to return. “We started to bring our volunteers home about a week before lockdown started, but unfortunately Air Vanuatu cancelled their flights quite early and we couldn’t get them out. “We were definitely relieved to get them on the Air Force flight because now we’ve got them all home safely.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ High Commission on the island had been extremely helpful and in constant communication with the group, Mr Goodman said. Air Component Commander Air Commodore Tim Walshe said the NZDF was pleased to be able to provide assistance to Pacific neighbours in their time of need. In all, the P-3K2 flew three surveillance flights over Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga and the C-130 flew six missions delivering aid to Fiji and Vanuatu.

“In Vanuatu, where there had been no reported cases of Covid-19, the Vanuatu personnel wore full PPE gear and we wore masks and gloves.” – Warrant Officer Dan Young


60 People were repatriated to New Zealand (approx)

15,325 kg Of aid was delivered to Port Vila in Vanuatu

13,082 kg Of aid was taken to Fiji

500 Family hygiene kits

100 Kits for mothers and babies

300 Tool kits and 10-litre collapsible water containers (approx)



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When New Zealand went into Alert Level 4 in March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Air Force followed the restrictions in a bid to help stamp out the virus before it took a proper hold. This meant bases needed to implement safety measures for residents and essential workers, personnel were seconded to All-of-Government teams and processes were put in place so essential work and training could continue. Life on base changed dramatically. AIR FORCE NEWS #224  | 9

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LIFE ON BASE As the country moves away from restrictive lockdown measures in the fight to halt the progression of Covid-19, the bases are slowly getting back to core business. Simulator and flight training are restarting at Bases Ohakea and Auckland, as well as many of the courses run at Base Woodbourne.


uring the Alert Level 4 restrictions however, the bases, along with the rest of the country, needed to implement plans to keep those living and working on base safe. Base Auckland Adjutant Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) Emma Taylor said before the lockdown took place all units were required to create a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) so they could operate safely, including creating work ‘bubbles’. “We also had to think quickly about how to manage personnel returning from overseas and were required to quarantine for 14 days. Accommodation block areas were set aside – it was difficult for our personnel to return home to such an alien situation, but they are now all safely home.” There were also measures put in place to ensure the safety of the First Security staff, including providing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all staff members,

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and implementing procedures such as keeping windows up when showing I.D. at the entry gate to maintain social distance. The base reduced its messes to just one and for takeaway meals only. Entry and exit points were established with name recording required, and social distancing marks showed how far to stand away from the counters. There was frequent sanitisation of the area and a limit of how many people could enter the serving area at any one time.

“It will be a welcome sight to see all our colleagues again, take the daily quiz and get back into action with a huge amount of lessons learnt from Covid-19 and working from home.” Base Ohakea Adjutant Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) Craig Browne said when the lockdown came into effect, the base closed the gym, pool, the engineering and woodworking clubs, and limited activities that were on base to essential duties only.

The base was still operational and essential staff were required to come in to keep the planes flying. Procedures put in place included signing in and out of the workplace for contact tracing, changing into a different set of uniform once at work, high personal hygiene as well as locked in shifts and crews to create ‘bubbles’.

“The only activity that was happening was with No. 3 Squadron and No. 42 Squadron, which were supporting Government outputs.”

“The base is usually humming with activity but during lockdown it was significantly quieter – but luckily we were still able to hear the sound of aircraft getting the job done which was a nice sense of normality,” FLTLT Taylor said.

“The server staff served the meals to each person, so they went through their processes making sure they wore masks and gloves and they were reducing contact. The tables were cleaned down regularly.

All the messes except the main combined mess closed. Tables were spaced out and the number of people who could enter the mess at any one time was limited.

F E AT U R E   |

“The base went really quiet really quickly. It felt like Christmas holidays when no one is on base and everything feels still. I would walk around the base and hear the birds chirping and the insects – it was slightly eerie.” – Flight Lieutenant Craig Browne

“It was a very weird thing because normally at lunchtimes it would be packed and bustling,” FLTLT Browne said. Occupational Health Nurse at Base Woodbourne Theresa McGuire said when it seemed likely the country was going to be responding to the pandemic, specialist advice and training was requested to ensure the base had initiated control measures such as social distancing and strict hygiene regimes. “I assisted with the delivery of PPE training and infection control through health and hygiene briefs,” she said. “One of my core roles is to provide health monitoring and education to military and civilian employees to ensure they are protected from work related illness. Covid-19 protection has just proven to be an adaption of work processes and advice on a different type of hazard.” Ms McGuire delivered numerous group education sessions to medics, emergency response groups, students on course, cooks, caterers, and cleaners.

It was important for personnel and staff to understand why, when, and how to wear PPE such as gloves, masks, safety eyewear/visors, and gowns/coveralls, as well as how to remove and dispose of them properly after use, she said. “I explained the basics of Covid-19 to the best of current medical knowledge, which was evolving almost daily. “I stressed the critical importance of frequent, thorough hand washing, avoidance of touching eyes, nose and mouth, self-isolation measures, and keeping that all important two metre physical distancing as recommended by the NZ Ministry of Health, even when outside.” LEFT

Entrance to Base Ohakea CENTRE

Physical training with social distancing TOP RIGHT

New mess conditions at Base Ohakea BOTTOM RIGHT

Base Ohakea’s mess

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A Royal New Zealand Air Force officer is leading an All of Government team, including a small number of Defence Force personnel, in the repatriation and accommodation of thousands of travellers. LEFT

Air Commodore Darryn Webb CENTRE

Two Lufthansa flights ready to repatriate travellers at Christchurch International Airport Photo: Christchurch International Airport TOP RIGHT

NZDF staff working in the repatriation team BOTTOM RIGHT

CPL Emma Davis working in the repatriation team

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undreds of New Zealanders have been returned to their homes thanks to the team’s efforts.

Air Commodore Darryn Webb and his team have coordinated the travel of about 23,000 foreign visitors back to their homelands, the repatriation of travelling New Zealanders, and accommodating all new arrivals into the country in suitable managed-isolation accommodation. The team also arranges domestic travel for those people into approved selfisolation locations once their two-week managed isolation period has finished. “It’s a constant management challenge given the need to operate within the existing Level 4 lockdown rules adhering to our ‘Stay at Home Stay Alive’ message, which is obviously a high priority, against the need to also move foreigners and Kiwis home within an acceptable movement plan.”

The repatriation team was stood up on March 26. Since that time they have arranged for the travel of 12,988 foreign nationals back to their homes across 43 charter flights. “The first few days were challenging as we rapidly grew an international air transport plan – definitely a build it as you fly it scenario. But by our analysis the bulk of foreign nationals have now departed, including a large number of foreign school students whose safety and welfare was of primary concern. “The team felt justifiable pride watching the Lufthansa jets conduct thank you fly-bys of Auckland and Christchurch, knowing they had played a sizable part in bringing that airlift operation together.” The Air Force is not undertaking repatriation flights at the moment but are being held for any potential contingency tasks, and could be used in the future if there were any travellers needing support that were not an obvious fit for a commercial option.

F E AT U R E   |

BY THE NUMBERS: FOREIGN NATIONS A group of 39 passengers was able to come to New Zealand last weekend on a RNZAF C-130 Hercules that delivered supplies for relief efforts in Vanuatu following Cyclone Harold. “At the moment we are focussing on using commercial opportunities given their ready availability,” Air Commodore Webb said. Every aspect of the travel has to be carefully managed to ensure travellers’ safety is not compromised and they are able to move in their own bubble. “We are mindful of the total mass of movement impacting on the Covid transmission risk. Our plans need to consider where people are congregating, how they are being facilitated during every step of the process, from leaving hotel accommodation, check in, customs, aviation security, right through to the departure gate,” Air Commodore Webb said.

A major repatriation was sending German nationals home on a number of chartered and commercial Lufthansa flights. Between March 26 and April 7, 4,172 passengers were flown to Germany, he said. A further 7,969 will be flown home by today (April 17). The team has also arranged selfisolation accommodation involving more than 11,500 appropriate rooms. Every person coming into the country needs to go into managed isolation, or for those with Covid-19 signs or symptoms into quarantine for two weeks. The team then coordinates domestic travel home for that person. “With all the streams we are managing the work is really dynamic. We need to stay flexible to the changing policy settings and then make the necessary changes to what we’re doing. The revised border control measures being one good example,” he said.

12, 988

left via charter flights

24, 957

left via commercial flights. NEW ZEALANDERS


New Zealanders have been domestically repatriated to Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, Napier, Dunedin, Nelson and Gisborne ACCOMMODATION


rooms have been occupied for managed isolation and quarantine


New Zealanders were provided rooms daily at its highest peak

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Aircrew on a P-3K2 Orion and an SH-2G(I) Seasprite helicopter responded to external agency requests for information to manage resources during the Alert Level 4 lockdown.


light Lieutenant (FLTLT) Jack Barnett, who is based in Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand, said the P-3K2 was requested by the NZ Police to take a flight around the top of the North Island to see how many pleasure craft were on the water during the level 4 lockdown. Police in Northland had been working closely with Customs and the Harbourmaster to undertake regular patrols to ensure people were complying with the restrictions. They requested help from the Air Force, particularly to cover coastal areas where marine patrols involving Customs and the Harbourmaster couldn’t get to. This flight was similar to frequent surveillance flights made by No. 5 Squadron to look for illegal, unregulated or unreported fishing vessels, yachts and boats.

The crew were also able to carry out other work on that flight, as the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and Customs had also requested the Air Force conduct additional taskings during the patrol to report there were no unauthorised fishing vessels in the area. “We have been doing more of these missions than usual since the country went into lockdown because there were fewer assets from MPI, the Coastguard and Customs policing the waters themselves,” FLTLT Barnett said. “So we stepped up to fill that gap. Because of the border restrictions internationally some of our overseas missions have been cancelled or postponed, so we had the capacity to take on those extra flights around the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone.” The six-hour flight around the top of the country took in the area from Orewa to North Cape, he said. “The patrol was to give Police an

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“We were looking for any yachts and boats that were breaking the level 4 restrictions. We reported 11 pleasure craft, which was a pretty low number.” –Flight Lieutenant Jack Barnett understanding of where they should be focussing their efforts. They were pleased with such a small number – considering it was during a long weekend as well,” FLTLT Barnett said.

Also during the Alert Level 4 period, Auckland Emergency Management requested assistance from No. 6 Squadron to record vessels moored around Great Barrier Island.

The local residents had complained to the council there was a strain on their local shops and that resources were being depleted by visitors, leaving shelves bare for the residents.

Lieutenant (LT) Nick Braun, from Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand, said they wanted to understand the drain on the local resources that the people on board the boats were having on the island community.

“Normally it’s okay, but with the reduced number of flights going between the mainland and the island, everything was at a reduced level,” LT Braun said.

“We flew a Seasprite out and took photographs – not so much around identifying each and every boat, but identifying how many boats there were in the bays.”

“The crew on the Seasprite can identify lots of boats or ships in an area and then try to identify them from a long range. “They can identify fishing boats as opposed to sailing boats or pleasure craft as opposed to commercial vessels,” he said.

The two and a half hour flight spotted about 75 vessels, he said. The mission was purely about collecting boat numbers.

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Under Alert Levels 3 and 4 the Air Force was regarded as an essential service, as were the NZ Army and Royal New Zealand Navy. In order to remain prepared to conduct tasking in support of the Government’s Covid-19 response, our aircrew must retain currency in core flying skills.


hese skills are perishable and a failure to maintain core flying currencies increases the risk to flight operations. We continued to conduct essential training to bring our crew numbers up to a level capable of meeting potential government tasking.

The C-130 continued its search and rescue training and also night vision goggle training, which can be vital in Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief situations, SQNLDR Attrill said.

No. 40 Squadron Executive Officer Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Rob Attrill said the C-130 Hercules and the Boeing B757 conducted missions as well as continuing training during the period.

“This ensures our crews are ready, current and competent to support tasks 365 days a year.”

Both aircraft flew home NZ Army personnel who had stopped in Sydney on their way home after serving in Iraq. The personnel completed their mandatory two-week quarantine period at Base Auckland before the C-130 flew them to their home locations. The Boeing also picked up some Defence Force equipment that had arrived in Sydney from Iraq, SQNLDR Attrill said. “Also, essential training, no matter what alert level we were at, did not stop No. 40 Squadron’s requirement to be ready to support Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand and Government tasking requests. To be ready to action those requests we still need to train.”

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Both the C-130 and the Boeing aircraft also continued general flying currency.

Initial crew conversion training carried on as well during the lockdown period, he said. No. 5 Squadron Operational Flight Commander Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Stephen Graham said since the infection arrived in New Zealand their priority had been to keep the Airborne Surveillance and Response Force able to respond when needed. “That means we’ve had to continue our regular training, but in a way that minimised the impact of infection on the unit,” he said. “Flying together means close contact is unavoidable, so to reduce the chance of a single infection spreading through the entire unit we split our personnel into separate bubbles, each one a fully capable crew.”

F E AT U R E   |

For each crew their mission readiness had a tiered structure, SQNLDR Graham said. “Our basic level is to simply be able to operate the aircraft in a safe manner, then to be effective in our core roles of patrol and search and rescue, with the highest level of readiness being operationally capable for warfare.” Of those three it is the first one which is most perishable and this is where the public will have seen very little change in operations during Level 4 and Level 3, SQNLDR Graham said. “That’s why we’ve been conducting our normal local training around Whenuapai, as well as some further afield where we’ve specific requirements – different types of approaches or a shorter or longer runway. “The next level is similarly non-negotiable as we saw with the response to Cyclone Harold, and our continuing patrol work around New Zealand. Training for this type of flight is mostly about crew coordination and usually takes us over water – often off the west coast of Auckland and into the Hauraki Gulf.”

Most high-level warfare training happens on exercise overseas, which was not possible under the restrictions so the squadron has been working with other squadrons and Services to set up local training where they could, he said.

Lieutenant Commander (LTCDR) Christiaan Robertson said during Alert Level 3 the first Air Warfare Course (AWC) student flight took place with No. 42 Squadron’s KA350 King Air aircraft.

“This will allow us to maintain our skills at a reasonable level while restrictions remain in place. Naturally, as the situation stabilises we’ll push outwards and begin working with our partners again once it’s safe to do so.”

The course is the newly established ab-initio training course for RNZAF Air Warfare Officers (AWO) and RNZN Observers. On completion of the AWC, graduates are posted to No. 5 Squadron, No. 40 Squadron or No. 6 Squadron for the Observers.

When the Government announced the country would be moving to Alert Levels 3 and 4, No. 42 Squadron was advised the King Air aircraft would likely be tasked frequently for transportation missions, SQNLDR Robert Cato said. In order for the aircrew to have sufficient currency to fly the extra missions, a continuation training regime was set up. Crews flew about twice a week, mostly around Ohakea. One of the King Air aircraft was also going through some modifications that required test flights to ensure it came into service as soon as possible, SQNLDR Cato said.

“This is a hugely significant milestone for New Zealand based AWO and Observer training, which for the previous three decades was conducted by the Royal Australian Air Force at RAAF Base East Sale,” LTCDR Robertson said. Congratulations to No. 42 Squadron and all personnel involved in the repatriation of AWO and Observer training.

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# FAC E S O F YO U R FO R C E  |

Defending the First Responders B Y


An Air Force aircraft technician is doing his part in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 by donating his time and materials to make 3D printed face shields, which are donated to essential workers.


eading Aircraftman (LAC) Hayden Cleminson registered with the Shields Up organisation, which is a group of volunteers who give their time, effort and resources to produce and distribute clear face shields. The visor is made up of the clear vinyl front, a plastic frame and elastic band. The clear visor is produced by companies who have volunteered their laser cutters that cut the PVC or PET plastic sheets to size and punch holes for mounting to the frame. Businesses and members of the public who owned 3D printers were encouraged to register and make the plastic frames. LAC Cleminson said he found out about the organisation after seeing it on the news. He registered, downloaded the design and used some extra material he had at home to make the frames. “There was a big shortage of these face shields worldwide. When I heard about Shields Up I was spending more time at home with the lockdown and I had my 3D printer that wasn’t being used all the time. So I thought I might as well put it to use and that way I could contribute something to the cause.” “Some people were donating money, some people were donating their services and time and I thought this was something I could offer.” Originally LAC Cleminson used material from his own supply, because he could not get access to more during the Alert Level 4 lockdown.

Each printed part takes about 50 minutes to get a strong, sturdy and reliable result. Add another 10 minutes for removing any imperfections and finally assembly of the shield, he said. “Once I printed the parts I put in a request for the visors and elastic to be sent to me and I assembled the pieces together. There was also a hub people could send their parts to, to be assembled and distributed.” The shields were then distributed to first line responders at hospitals, medical practices, caregivers and anyone else who requested them from the website. “Initially there was a backlog as 25,000 orders of the shields were placed. The organisers were a bit overwhelmed by how many were wanted, but as progress ramped up the orders were filled.” LAC Cleminson joined the cause a couple of weeks after it started but was still able to contribute to the effort put in by many other New Zealanders. “They are a pretty simple thing to make. Once they were put together and gone it was good knowing they were being used for people who needed them and would make them feel a little more comfortable working through the pandemic.” “The last few weeks have been about reconciling everything to get a good picture of where the project is at and where we need to go from here. There are currently inquiries in to producing and supplying shields to other countries who are also in need. If that is the case, we will start production again.”

“As the weeks went by, some companies were able to donate material and I could register to go in and pick it up. I managed to get my hands on a couple of rolls to continue printing as I was running low on my own supplies.”

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Night Training Turns into Rescue Response

The crew of a P-3K2 Orion responded to a mayday call after a paddler ended up in the water near Whangarei Heads recently. While conducting a training flight off the coast west of Auckland, the crew heard a distress message about 7pm on maritime radio that an outrigger type canoe had broken up and a man was in the water. NZ Police had issued the mayday, concerned about the man’s safety. The P-3K2 crew quickly diverted to the scene, arriving there within 10 minutes, and located the man in the water using the aircraft’s infrared sensors. The crew relayed the man’s exact position through to maritime radio. Within minutes after the P-3K2 arrived at the location, the man and his swamped craft were picked up by a vessel. The paddler was understood to be cold but otherwise unhurt.

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The aircraft remained in the area until the man was safely out of the water. Personnel from No. 5 Squadron, who fly the P-3K2s, regularly respond to search and rescue missions. The flight was part of training the RNZAF is carrying out to maintain core flying currencies. The Air Force and New Zealand Defence Force as a whole, must maintain its operational readiness to carry out the tasks required of it by the government, including search and rescue and humanitarian and disaster relief, as well as contributing to the All of Government response to Covid-19.

O U R H E R I TA G E   |

Museum Launches New Online Exhibition for Kids

A core role of museums is to educate, inspire, and engage people of all ages with history. When, along with everyone else, our Museum closed its doors back in March, the work didn’t stop behind the scenes.


For Education Officer Chris Davey, who is normally busy teaching visiting school groups in the Museum, this provided an opportunity to think about new ways of reaching children at home.


“With tamariki in lockdown and looking for things to do, we were keen to provide them with an educational and enjoyable resource.” – Chris Davey, Education Officer


Jake Bint (9) has shared a model of the Iroquois helicopter his dad flew in the RNZAF RiGHT

Mindi Bosher (10) shared the tiny red triplane she built with her dad, modelled after a character in her favourite book series, ‘Flying Furballs’ by Donovan Bixley


afe in their ‘bubbles’, staff continued to investigate ways that we could maintain our connection with people and encourage the sharing of stories around New Zealand’s military aviation history.

“While watching an American museums’ webinar, someone mentioned an online exhibition that adults could add objects to, and I thought this would be a great idea for children too – and what better subject area than stories and objects related to flight?” With support from the wider team, Chris’ concept turned into the ‘Kids’ Collection: an online exhibition of flight’, which the Museum launched on their website in April. The main idea behind the Kids’ Collection, is to be a space where children can share their special objects or stories relating to the Air Force or aviation, and see them form part of a virtual exhibition. Along the way, they can read the stories that have been posted by other children, discover fascinating facts and intriguing items from the Museum’s own collection, and learn a little bit about some basic museum processes.

The Kids’ Collection has been grouped into four main categories: the broadlyencompassing ‘Aviation Objects’ (anything from toy planes to kites), ‘Air Force People’ (stories about family members or other special people who have served in the Air Force), Air Force Objects (items relating to the RNZAF), and ‘Flight Stories’ (where kids share stories about memorable flights they have been on). The site is still evolving, as more content is added. Ultimately, we hope that it will become a hub for children everywhere to learn all about aviation and our Air Force, as well as the Museum and the work we do. It’s been fantastic to see some of the special objects and stories that kids have shared already, but we’d love to see more! It’s very easy to contribute, all you need to do is fill out the brief form online, including your child’s ‘story’ about their object, and attach a photo. Once the team have processed it, it will join the others in the exhibition. You can check out the Kids’ Collection, and find out more about how to get involved, on the Museum’s website: kids-collection/

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Space in the Time of Covid-19 B Y


As the RNZAF continues to build knowledge of the space domain, the ways space capabilities are helping the world weather Covid-19 highlight how critical they are for achieving military effects.


pace’s nature as a largely untapped economic wellspring, military high ground and provider of critical services means that it is likely to ‘continue as advertised’ more than most sectors as the world transitions through economic turmoil and out into a new normal. Of course, that is not to say the space industry is avoiding the effects of Covid-19. OneWeb, a competitor of SpaceX’s Starlink in the race to provide high-speed internet from space, has just announced bankruptcy, and is one of many space companies challenged by Covid-19. Investment in space has to be significant, from both a financial and resource perspective, and has long lead times for return on investment. As investors grow more focussed, many space ventures are unlikely to find the funding they seek. This will provide the opportunity for ‘military industrial complex’ firms, such as Boeing, Lockheed, and United Launch Alliance, to acquire minor players for significant discounts, increasing the barriers to entry and slowing innovation.

Government space organisations, such as NASA, will also be affected as world leaders limit discretionary spending due to expensive fiscal relief packages. It is therefore likely there will be reduced competition and innovation in the next few years. However, as nations close their borders and implement lockdowns, circumstances are highlighting the need for space’s current and future capabilities, both in the RNZAF and worldwide. Space operations can enable the NZDF to achieve effects with minimal footprints. Greater connectivity and computing power means spacecraft can be controlled remotely from a laptop. This means operations centres manned by multitudes are no longer the norm and even military effect can be achieved from ones living room – without having to burst anyone’s ‘bubble’. Satellites in Low Earth Orbit provide an increasingly affordable alternative for gathering information and are filling a critical role in helping governments safely track the effects of Covid-19. Satellite imagery companies are reporting increased demand for remote sensing, and we have recently seen satellites provide data showing reduced carbon emissions and illegal migration.

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In the RNZAF’s context, the ability to maintain the integrity of maritime borders, combat illegal fishing and fulfil search and rescue obligations is more achievable with the addition of satellite capabilities to supplement or replace overstretched terrestrial resources. While imagery services can be acquired commercially, owning our own satellites – like our aircraft – would mean they remain taskable 24/7 according to NZDF and governmental priorities during periods of high demand on commercial services. While funding for commercial ventures is likely to be sparse in the near term, these space capabilities and many more are only becoming more desirable. The outlook for space post Covid-19 remains positive, and we should be watching closely to identify opportunities for the RNZAF to better achieve its objectives through space.


Right on Target B Y


I shoot competitively in Fullbore Target Shooting which I have been doing for over 10 years. I first started shooting in 2010 at the Seddon Range across from Trentham Military Camp. This was where my love for the sport began.


ullbore Target Shooting is at distances between 300 and 1,000 yards (915 metres) using a .308 calibre rifle with iron or open sights. There is no bipod, only a stiff leather jacket and a sling. The season runs from September to May and shooting is in any weather condition. You compete in grades based on your average; it is not split into age or sex. Your experience level is also not considered, so if you are shooting well then you compete against the top dogs! After joining the Air Force in 2014, the Seddon Range remained my home range. I was posted to Base Ohakea and would drive down most weekends during the season to shoot.

I was also shooting in the open Palma Team, which came fifth overall. For these results, I received the NZDF Outstanding Sports Achievement for 2019. This was a definite highlight of my Air Force and shooting career. Earlier this year I competed in the Ballinger Belt coming 12th overall and receiving the under-25 trophy. This was my best placing yet at the NZ Nationals. My shooting has taken me all over the world to compete. I have been to Australia, South Africa and the United States. The next overseas match I have my sights on is in South Africa in 2023.

The Seddon Range is considered one of the best in the world for difficulty. No surprises there since it is in windy Wellington! This is where the Ballinger Belt is held every year – NZ’s National Championship for Fullbore Target Shooting. Now I am deployed to Christchurch’s Air Movements and I shoot at the Malvern Rifle Club in Colgate, which is very esteemed for producing good shooters. The World Long Range Championships was held at the Seddon Range last year. This was my third World Championship. I was Captain and shooter for the under-25 team which came third, the first time a New Zealand under-25 team has received a medal at the championships.


(L–R) A .308 round Corporal Flanagan uses compared with a .223 round used for the MARS-L BOTTOM

The score card for the under-25 competition at the Long Range Championships RIGHT

Shooting in Kaituna-Blenheim

AIR FORCE NEWS #224  | 23

VOLUNTARY EDUCATION STUDY ASSISTANCE Applications for semester two, 2020 are to be made within 90 days of the official study start date. Please complete an MD1631 and liaise with your nearest Adult Learning Tutor, Defence Learning.

What is it? Voluntary Education Study Assistance (VESA) is a discretionary fund centrally managed by NZDC to provide financial assistance to members of the NZDF undertaking part-time study.

Who's eligible? Regular Force or permanent civilian members of NZDF who have been employed/served continuously for 52 weeks. Reserve Force members in some circumstances.

What assistance can I receive? VESA provides assistance with study costs up to a set maximum in any financial year. There are different limits for postgraduate and undergraduate study.

What can I study? You can study a subject area that interests you, provided it’s on the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF).

How do I apply? Contact any Defence Learning Centre for advice on the application process. Alternatively, check eligibility, your obligations etc. by logging on to the ITD Learning Toolkit for more information or SADFO 3/2016.

N O T I C E S & Q U I Z  |

Notices CALL FOR SHOP ONLINE NOMINATIONS: AND SUPPORT THE MINISTER YOUR MUSEUM! OF DEFENCE, As our Air Force Museum AWARDS FOR recovers from the effects of weeks of closure, they need EXCELLENCE your help more than ever. (DESC/DIAC), 2020 By making a purchase in the

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Describe the broad idea of anti-access and area-denial capabilities.


During February 2019, India and Pakistan engaged in a brief air battle. What two types of fighter aircraft clashed?


What was the common name of the Cessna Model 421C aircraft operated by the RNZAF?


During October 1964, a 14 SQN Canberra deployment undertook a rapid mobility test from Singapore to Labuan Island, Malaysia. What was the purpose of the test?


On April 21, 1914, United States Naval Aviators were tasked to perform their first combat mission, to do what?


Name four Soviet military aircraft design bureaus (companies).

8. What is the role of the USN C-2A Greyhound aircraft?

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How many aircraft carriers were operated by Japan during WW2: 15, 25, or 35?

10. When did the first RNZAF C-130 roll off the production line in Marietta, Georgia?

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Anti-access restricts movement to a theatre of operations, area-denial restricts access within a theatre of operations

1. AVM Morrison, when arguing for the replacement of degraded Canberra aircraft with modern strike aircraft to be delivered before 1970


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During 1966, the RNZAF Chief of Air Staff said: “Without fighting equipment we are not a fighting service; we cannot attract and hold the calibre of men we need, we cannot maintain the level of morale necessary to be an effective force”. Who was this CAS?

3. Pakistani F-16 and Indian MIG 21 fighters

Help us acknowledge our Reservists, Cadet Forces, Limited Service Volunteers and the civilian employers who support them.

To celebrate the online Shop reopening, they currently have a special offer of 20% off all t-shirts. This includes a brand-new range, featuring four iconic aircraft – Kittyhawk, Spitfire, Iroquois and Skyhawk. Simply enter the code ‘tshirts20’ at checkout to claim your discount.


4. The Golden Eagle

The Minister of Defence, Awards for Excellence are the annual awards ceremony hosted by Minister of Defence, Hon. Ron Mark at Parliament. The ceremony celebrates excellence in our NZDF and industry communities.

online Shop, you can directly support them and the work they do to preserve and share our Air Force’s history.

Air Power Development Centre Quiz

AIR FORCE NEWS #224  | 25

6 Accompany the Atlantic Fleet to seize the port of Veracruz, Mexico. The naval aviation camp at Pensacola had only been set-up three months prior to the call 5. To test their efficiency in mobility, and to test their ability to operate efficiently in unfamiliar regions in tropical conditions, as their routine Malaysian exercise was extended indefinitely due to a build-up of tension in Malaysia

10. October 1964 9

25, though references differ depending on the definition of an aircraft carrier. EG, CVE Chuyo was an aircraft ferry flat top, and is included in the list

8 An aircraft carrier at-sea delivery aircraft 7

Aero, Antonov, Beriev, Ilyushin, Kamov, Mikoyan/ Gurevich, Mil, Myasishchev, Polikarpov, Sukhoi, Tupolev, Yakovlev


26 |  AIR FORCE NEWS #224



Early morning preparations by the Air Movements team as the sun begins to come up over the horizon. The team loads up pallets containing essential supplies on to the C- 130 Hercules where they will be received later that day in Vanuatu, earlier struck by Cyclone Harold.

AIR FORCE NEWS #224  | 27

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19

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Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.

Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.

Stay home if you feel unwell.

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