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Truth About Air Force Staffing Crisis Revealed

National's Defence spokesman Wayne Mapp says the Defence Minister's denials of a staffing crisis in the Air Force have been contradicted by the facts revealed today.

The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshall Carey Adamson, has confirmed that there are only five captains for the six Orions, and that three of those people have already handed in their notice.

Speaking to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee the Air Marshall could not guarantee that they would be able to maintain the required five or more captains for the Orions - even with new captains in training.

"The Government's failure to listen to proper professional advice on the Orions is causing a loss of morale, and therefore people are leaving," Dr Mapp said.

"The Minister of Defence needs to act swiftly and decisively to confirm that New Zealand will keep the Orions. Any other decision would be plain nonsense.

"Labour must realise that the Defence Force is not its plaything, to do with as they please. They must realise they have been entrusted with the nation's defence force, and therefore the security of all New Zealanders.

"If we are to have any sort of consensus on defence, the Government must stop its dangerous experiments," Wayne Mapp said.


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