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P3K Orion Upgrade




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Blast From the Past


























Chairman’s Message to 2018 AGM

Minutes AGM 2018

Air Force News

A P-3K2 Orion has been deployed to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that impose sanctions against North Korea. The operation, which began last month and finishes this month, was announced by the New Zealand Government. Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters said New Zealand was firmly committed to an enduring peace on the Korean Peninsula.  “We welcome the recent dialogue North Korea has had with the United States and South Korea.  However, until such time as North Korea abides by its international obligations, full implementation of the United Nations Security Council sanctions resolutions will be essential.” This operation will see a P-3K2 undertake maritime surveillance over international waters in North Asia. The aircraft will be based out of Kadena Air Base, Japan. Minister of Defence Ron Mark said New Zealand would coordinate efforts with partners to counter North Korea’s maritime activities that contravened UNSC sanctions, in particular its use of ship–to–ship transfers. Sanctions resolutions against North Korea were unanimously adopted and supported by permanent UNSC members. Chief of Defence Force Air Marshal (AM) Kevin Short said the P-3K2 was a “perfect platform for conducting surface surveillance”.
“We can record and monitor what is going on and because of that we can gather information that can be passed back to the United Nations. It’s up to the UN and its team to decide whether sanctions are being broken.” It was similar to fisheries patrols the aircraft were already undertaking around New Zealand, he said. Ship–to–ship transfers would most often involve petroleum being transferred from a ship coming into the region to a North Korean vessel, AM Short added. “There’re limits on the amount of petroleum and fuels as part of the sanctions – they’re obviously allowed an amount of fuel but if they go above that, then they are breaking the sanctions.” AM Short said the operation had little risk because the aircraft was flying in international air space over international waters. “It’s not a conflict zone, it’s happening in an area where anyone can operate.” A crew of 44 made up of flight personnel, maintainers and an analysis team would be deployed for the month– long operation. The New Zealand Defence Force currently has six personnel in total deployed to the Republic of Korea. Two of these are officers based in the demilitarized zone

Joint Forces New Zealand Commander Major General Tim Gall said offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Otago and a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft supported the maritime surveillance operation with the three other member-countries of the Quadrilateral Defence Coordination Group (QUAD) – Australia, France and the United States. In this year’s operation, fishing vessels were inspected on the seas surrounding New Zealand’s northern Exclusive Economic Zone boundaries. “The four countries working together on this monitoring, control and surveillance operation reflect the regional solidarity to sustainable high-seas fishing,” Major General Gall said. Flight Lieutenant John Brereton said the Orion crew patrolled the high seas pocket to the west of the Kermadec Islands. “We had a New Zealand Fisheries Officer on board, and she was able to provide valuable intelligence about the vessels that were of particular interest to the Op Nasse fisheries agencies.” Over two days the crew gathered information on all vessels of interest in the area, as well as locating a few vessels that the fisheries agencies had little information about, he said. “All of the intelligence we obtained was then fed back to the relevant fisheries agencies, as well as to HMNZS Otago – 
NZdF inspects 23 Vessels in multi-National patrols
who conducted boarding operations to verify the vessels’ compliance with fisheries regulations.” Lieutenant Commander Lorna Gray, the Commanding Officer of Otago, said the vessels were inspected by an inter-agency team that included authorised inspectors from New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries and the United States Coast Guard. MPI Manager for Fisheries Compliance Greg Keys said the key objective of the operation was to better understand fishing practices and ensure compliance with the Convention on the Conservation and Management of the Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean and the conservation and management measures adopted by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). Lieutenant Commander Gray said the involvement of an authorised inspector from the United States maximised the use of WCPFC-trained inspectors and enhanced the effectiveness of the WCPFC boarding and inspection procedures, so it was a big boost to have a United States Coast Guard authorised inspector who could speak five languages on board. “This year’s operation was an opportunity to further develop information sharing and provide a coordinated approach to high-seas boarding and inspections with our QUAD partners,” she said.

The Air Force works with other New Zealand agencies to secure the country against external threats and is called upon regularly to respond to emergencies both at home and overseas. But in what may seem off the beaten track, the Air Force recently carried out a census of southern right whales or tohora in the New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands. Air Component Commander Air Commodore (AIRCDRE) Tim Walshe said more than 100 whales were sighted during a surveillance patrol by a P-3K2 Orion aircraft around the Auckland Islands and Campbell Island. “We regularly support other government agencies in their work by providing our aircraft and ships as platforms for monitoring and surveillance activities,” AIRCDRE Walshe said. “In this Orion patrol, we took aerial photos to assist the Department of Conservation (DOC) in tracking individual whales, building a better picture of the species as a whole and monitoring the recovery of these protected creatures.” DOC Marine Species and Threats manager Ian Angus said the census results indicated that the southern right whale population, which is classified as “nationally vulnerable” species, was continuing to recover from the significant impact of whaling and other present-day threats. Whaling decimated the southern right whale population, from more than 30,000 at the turn of the 20th century to less than 150 around 1920, according to DOC. 
Recent research estimates their number at 2000 in 2009. “We’ve always known that the southern right whales spend the winter and spring around the Sub-Antarctic Islands but getting down there at this time of the year is challenging,” Mr Angus said. “In partnership with the NZDF, we have been able to monitor some of our wildlife and continue to understand when and how southern right whales are using the Sub-Antarctic Islands.”
He said the census conducted by the Air Force complemented the work carried out by the University of Otago on the movement patterns of southern right whales. “We’re looking forward to working with the NZDF and other researchers to glean all the information from the many images that were taken.” Tohora are a native migrant to New Zealand. They are typically black in colour but can have irregular white patches, and have large and paddle-shaped flippers. 

5 Squadron RNZAF Trophy presentation to Cpl Alex McLean at the 20th AGM June 2018.


 Photos of the Laucala Bay Monument Event 2018


Laucala Bay Monument

Note the symbolism that the artist, Shane Bower from Savusavu, has created with the wings of a giant seabird (albatross) mounted above the representative fuselage - the lower half of which is a Sunderland wing float. more



Space Age Hazard 

Middle East Surveillence



RNZAF Orion and Crew Busy on Multiple Fronts in South West Pacific

The Orion has been sent to deliver mail to Raoul Island, survey signs of activity from an underwater volcano, and conduct maritime surveillance patrols in support of Pacific Island nations. The crew will also brief officials in Niue about the NZDF’s maritime surveillance and search and rescue operations in the region.

“This is a perfect example of the range of tasks we do in support of other New Zealand government agencies, as well as our South West Pacific neighbours,” Group Captain Shaun Sexton, the Acting Air Component Commander, said.

“The other driver, of course, is efficiency. Whenever we send an aircraft to do a job, it usually has three to four other tasks to complete. That way we get a lot more done from a single mission.”

Squadron Leader Jimmy Peters, the aircraft captain, said the first item on the Orion’s to-do list was to air-drop about 130 kilograms of mail for Department of Conservation staff based in the remote Kermadec Islands.

The aircraft will also survey Monowai, an active underwater volcano halfway between Tonga and the Kermadecs, for GNS Science.

On Friday (NZT), a 17-member team led by Squadron Leader Peters will brief officials from several Niue government agencies, including the Niue Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Niue Police, about the NZDF’s maritime surveillance and search and rescue capabilities. They will also give Niue officials a quick tour of the Orion.

Squadron Leader Peters said he expected “mutually beneficial discussions” with Niue officials following the briefing.

“It’s good to have these face-to-face engagements where we can chat about how we conduct search and rescue and maritime patrols and also gain an understanding of their expectations,” he said.

“This is essential, so we can wrk together smoothly if and when required in the future.”

The NZDF regularly sends aircraft and ships to conduct maritime surveillance patrols in support of South West Pacific countries. In 2017, RNZAF planes flew 114 hours on nine search and rescue missions in the Pacific.



75th Anniversary 1941-2016

MOTAT and Whenuapai events photo collection



A Blast From the Past

Here is a series of links kindly provided by Robin Klitscher. These links are pieces written
by Robin K which will be of interest to members, particularly the web-footers.

Recently digitised footage of Laucala bay

Sunderland Veterans Rolling Back The years

Facebook Slideshow  

With thanks from Wings Over New Zealand

5 Squadron RNZAF Association Trophy Recipients

The award includes a printed copy of the citation and an inscribed plaque to be retained by the recipient. 



 All past and present 5 Squadron Personnel are eligible and are warmly encouraged to register. It's free, no subs and no annual renewal required. Current members will automatically be put onto the registered members list so, for many, it’s even easier. Benefits include fellowship, mailouts of ‘Air Force News’ and occasional squadron support activities. Contact Vern Reynolds jreynolds@xtra.co.nz

The information held is only to enable us to keep in contact with you. We do not give any details to anyone without your say so, but if you do not wish to give us some items that is OK.



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West Auckland local streaming music you will enjoy  Courtsey Doug Edgar