Te Atatu man and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Sergeant
(SGT) Jack Xiong has returned home from hunting pirates in the
SGT Xiong has spent the last three months as a crew member of an
RNZAF P-3K2 Orion aircraft, which has been part of the Combined
Maritime Forces (CMF) international counter-piracy effort in the
"I'm an Air Warfare Specialist (AWS) and I operate the
specialised sensors used for airborne surveillance and
reconnaissance work, such as the radar and electro-optics
camera," said SGT Xiong.
Operating under command of Pakistan Navy-led Combined Task Force
150 (CTF-150) and working with Australian frigate HMAS
Toowoomba, the P-3K2 crew was recently able to locate and track
a ship from the Arabian Sea to the Horn of Africa, resulting in
the seizure of 5588kgs of hashish in hessian bags, with a value
of $280 million (AUD).
"Highlights of my deployment are the performance of our
crew and the sense of achievement with the drug bust. We worked
hard and my role as an AWS is awesome, it's like playing real
life video games," said SGT Xiong.
The former Mt Roskill Grammar school student found out about the
Air Force from family friends when he was 13.
"Right from that moment I knew I wanted to join for the
lifestyle. The travelling is great, I've been to some unique
places like Antarctica and I love the sports," said SGT
A standout player in the Air Force men's basketball team, SGT
Xiong is looking forward to catching up with friends and family.
"I'm planning to catch up with basketball mates to shoot
some hoops and going to visit family in China," said SGT