From Waipukurau to Hawaii with the NZDF
2 August 2016
Air Force Sergeant Richy Vial, of Waipukurau, has just spent five weeks in Hawaii taking part in the world’s largest maritime exercise: Exercise Rim of the Pacific 16, or RIMPAC, as it is known.
SGT Vial, 34, is an air ordnance specialist with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).
At RIMPAC, which concludes this week, his role was to support anti-submarine warfare, manage the release of all search stores, such as sonar buoys, smoke flares, liferafts, survival packages, and aid drops and mail drops.
It was an amazing opportunity, he says.
“Being so fresh, this was a massive learning opportunity – we don’t do anti-submarine warfare during our course,” he says. “The highlight so far has been getting to learn a new crew, and work with experienced people.”
It’s another one of many “very cool experiences” he has had since joining the RNZAF 16 years ago.
He has deployed to the Middle East, and to Africa, and this is his second deployment to Hawaii for RIMPAC, which is held every second year.