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Stokes Valley Man Feels the Heat in Hawaii

9 July 2014

Stokes Valley Man Feels the Heat in Hawaii

Stokes Valley’s Lance Corporal (LCPL) Helmut Modlik is a member of the light infantry platoon from Linton-based 1st Royal NZ Infantry Regiment (1RNZIR) participating in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014, the world’s largest maritime military exercise.

The six week exercise aims to foster multinational partnerships and cooperation on the land, sea and in the air, and has brought 22 nations and more than 25,000 personnel to Hawaii. With over 40 ships and 200 aircraft on the bases dotted throughout Hawaii, the exercise will cover the full spectrum of military operations - from humanitarian aid and disaster relief to maritime security and complex warfighting.

LCPL Modlik, a former Taita College pupil, is the only member of the platoon who was also at Exercise RIMPAC in 2012. He says that being a part of the multinational training exercise for a second time has given him an opportunity to assess where he is personally with his training.

“When I was here in 2012, it was a learning experience for all the countries we worked with. I can see where the lessons have been applied and how we’ve become more interoperable with the other nations. Two years later I’ve got the chance to test myself and see how much I’ve learned.”

The platoon has had the opportunity to work closely with the US Marine Corps and carry out training in their sophisticated urban training facility. It has vegetable stalls, a petrol station and a meat market complete with ‘smell generators’ to mimic real life smells and enhance the realism.

LCPL Modlik will return to his Linton base - and New Zealand’s winter - in early August.

Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) is a multinational exercise that takes place in and around the Hawaiian Islands, every two years. Twenty-two nations, more than 50 surface ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in RIMPAC 14.

The NZDF is contributing 256 staff in total, made up of HMNZS CANTERBURY with embarked SH-2G Seasprite helicopter, Mine Counter Measures Team, Operational Dive Team, a P3K-2 Orion aircraft, a light infantry platoon, and Headquarters staff and augmentees.


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