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Blast From the Past



























NZ Air Force stood down after missing vessel found in Fiji

27 Dec, 2017 4:54pm

The NZ Airforce Orion was sent to Fiji  to join the search for a missing vessel with nine people on board. 


A NZ Air Force Orion that was sent to help find a boat missing near Fiji with nine people on board has been stood down after the occupants were found safe and well.

Rescue crews have been searching for the vessel since Christmas Day after it disappeared on a return trip to Tovu on Totoya Island.

It had run out of fuel but was found washed ashore this morning, the NZ Defence Force said.

Local search and rescue began looking for the vessel on Christmas Day and the Fijian Rescue Coordination Centre asked for Kiwi help through the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand.




Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies While reflecting on 2017 and our 80th year as an Air Force I’ve had a sense of pride in our accomplishments and thankfulness for the members and supporters of our team. In the best tradition of the RNZAF, we’ve rolled our sleeves up and got stuck in to get the job done. I thank each and every one of you, our service personnel and civilian staff, for your efforts throughout what has been a great year for the RNZAF. Your often unseen hard work, innovation, and creativity throughout the year has enabled us to enjoy some exceptional progress and achievements in our service to New Zealand. 

Thank you for making 2017, our 80th year, a memorable success. Next year will undoubtedly bring its own challenges, but as masters of the air domain our main focus remains unchanged – in delivering air effects to support New Zealand’s interests. 

Can I also extend my thanks to your family and friends, as well as our industry and support partners, who all play a crucial role in keeping the Air Force running. Know that your support is foundational to our service personnel and the RNZAF at large – we couldn’t do this without you. 

The New Year will also bring with it a changing of the guard for both our Warrant Officer of the Air Force (WOAF) and Airman of the Year (AoY). During his tenure as WOAF Warrant Officer Mark ‘Shark’ Harwood has been a servant and voice for you all. Similarly, Corporal Keisha Malone, our 2016 AoY, has championed our Air Force as a fine ambassador. Thank you both for your considerable efforts and we welcome your respective replacements, Warrant Officer Toni Tate and Corporal Carlin O’Neill, into these roles for 2018. 

To those who are deployed or on duty during the Christmas season, my personal thanks for your efforts and we look forward to your reunion and well-deserved break in the near future. 

Finally, stay safe. I look forward to your return in the New Year with optimism and recharged energy, being renewed and ready for the opportunities that 2018 will present. 

Enjoy a safe, relaxing and enjoyable break over the Christmas period.



NZDF personnel located 60 vessels of interest and boarded 26 others in multilateral fisheries patrols conducted recently to support Pacific Island countries. 

Among the serious breaches discovered were shark fins, misreporting a large catch of big eye tuna, and tampering with a vessel’s monitoring system. Involved in the operation were a P-3K2 Orion, Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS Otago and fishery officers from the Ministry for Primary Industries to the joint fisheries patrols. 

The patrols involved 10 member countries of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and the Quadrilateral Defence Coordination Group comprising New Zealand, Australia, France and the United States. 

Air Component Commander, Air Commodore Darryn Webb, said the Orion spotted nearly 500 vessels during three days of patrols over 1.2 million square kilometres through Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia. 

More than 12 per cent, or 60 vessels of interest, were subsequently reported to the FFA to boost their awareness of maritime activity in the area. 

The FFA, established in 1979 to help countries manage their fishery resources, comprises 17 Pacific Island countries, including New Zealand and Australia. 

“Our participation in these patrols demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to the effort against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing through maritime surveillance and physical presence at sea, and the direct enforcement of national or regional fisheries regulations through the actual boarding of fishing vessels,” Air Commodore Webb said. 

HMNZS Otago, together with MPI fishery officers, boarded 26 vessels during patrols in the exclusive economic zones of Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands and the adjacent high seas pockets. Lieutenant Commander Lorna Gray, the Commanding Officer of Otago, said that among many minor breaches, major breaches were found on a number of vessels. 

Shark fins were found on board one vessel, she said. Another was found misreporting a large catch of big eye tuna, while another was caught tampering with the vessel’s monitoring system. “Previous cases have shown that a significant percentage of IUU activity across the region is being conducted by legally licensed fishing vessels under- or misreporting their catch,” Lieutenant Commander Gray said. “Physical inspection is the only way to verify that the catch is being properly reported.” 

Chairman’s Message to 2017 for 5 Squadron AGM




Mr Brownlee says the aircrafts still have a few years left (Getty Images) Govt. looking at options to replace Air Force P-3 Orions

RCCNZ Mission Coordinator Conrad Reynecke says a New Zealand Airforce P3 Orion has found the man – believed to be a missing fisherman. Photo / File

Airforce P3 Orion has found the man – believed to be a missing fisherman. 

Solo yachtsman found in stormy seas of Chatham Islands

A cargo ship is on its way to pluck to safety a stricken solo yachtsman in distress off the New Zealand coastline...........



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

From Across the Ditch


RAAF P-8A Poseidon 














Evolution into a fifth generation Air Force is one step closer following the government announcing a $659 million investment to develop security infrastructure in support of the P-8A Poseidon project at RAAF Base Edinburgh.

Defence Minister Marise Payne and Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne announced the funding on November 19.

Defence will invest $250 million in a Boeing training simulator system at Edinburgh, and $409 million to improve the base facilities for full operations, estimated for completion by early 2019.

Temporary Off icer Commanding 92WG WGCDR Jason Begley said the project delivering the P-8A facilities was progressing very well, “having just passed the million man-hours mark”.

“The facilities being delivered are a generational leap forward from current arrangements, including an integrated squadron facility comprising the aircraft hangar, and all maintenance and aircrew personnel in one location, with a modern apron area incorporating in-ground refuelling and lighting,” WGCDR Begley said.

WGCDR Begley said the facility was designed with environmental considerations in mind from the outset to contain and treat all waste and potential contaminants.

He said a continuous engagement with the local indigenous community to manage any artefacts that may have been found during the construction phase proved to be beneficial.

“The build itself used roughly 80 per cent South Australian sourced materials, as well as local sub-contractors, generating work in the area,” he said.

WGCDR Begley said the new training facilities would include the latest generation of computer-based training and simulators for both aircrew and maintenance.

“The virtual maintenance training systems are able to replicate a wide range of faults to allow maintenance technicians the ability to practice on simulated aircraft faults in a controlled training environment,” WGCDR Begley said.

“The new dynamic flight simulators and mission crew simulators can be linked together for a fullcrew training event, and we have included capacity for future connection of these simulators to virtual exercises around the world.”

WGCDR Begley said the P-8A’s latest generation of sensors and improved networked communications increased interoperability.

He said Navy platforms such as the Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer and a range of Allied systems as well as Air Force’s E-7A Wedgetail and F-35A benefited from enhanced interoperability.

WGCDR Begley said: “The upgrades to our facilities allow us to make the most of this to move towards a fifth generation Air Force, providing the basis for a future ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] hub of networks, platforms and the highly-skilled personnel central to that goal.”


5 Squadron Association RNZAF Trophy 2017

Awarded to

Corporal Michael West

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

5 Squadron RNZAF Association Trophy Recipients

K i w i  O r i o n s     



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