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200% Mission Success for Air Force Deployment


200% Mission Success for Air Force Deployment

Two Air Force Orion technicians have contributed to Number 5 Squadron attaining a 200% mission success rate during their deployment to the Middle East.

After 30 missions the Orion detachment have so far achieved a 100% mission success rate - every mission has departed on time. But Sergeants Tony and Stan from the Orion detachment also completed an unusual repair to an Air Force Hercules that had arrived from New Zealand on a resupply flight.


Sergeant Tony riveting the new panel back onto the Hercules. (Please note - only rank and first names are used for security reasons)

The detachment's commander, Wing Commander Carl Nixon said the Hercules had arrived from New Zealand when the crew detected some isolated corrosion on the aircraft's fuselage. "The Orion technicians spent 12 hours outside in temperatures of over 45* replacing a panel. Using a bit of kiwi-ingenuity they expertly constructed a replacement panel from a sheet of aluminium and installed it in less than 12 hours. The Hercules was ready to depart the next day for its planned mission" he said.


Sergeant Stan working inside the cargo hold of the Hercules.

The Orion detachment's engineering officer, Squadron Leader Dave, oversaw the repair. "We consulted with our structural engineers in New Zealand using digital photographs over our satellite link both to illustrate the extent of the damage and the success of the repair", said Squadron Leader Dave.

"Although we normally work on the Orion, we knew the Hercules had to get back on the road so we just got on with the job", said Sergeant Tony. "We rigged up the Orion's air conditioning cart to blow cold air on us while we were repairing the Hercules but we also had to be careful touching the aircraft's skin - it was over 65* by mid day!"

The Orion is in the Middle East as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and has been flying missions in support of the naval forces in the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

"Everyone here is contributing to us meeting our goal of 100% mission success - from the aircraft technicians to the airborne radar operators. This repair of one our support aircraft has now lifted our game to 200%, which is quite an achievement for the ground crew", said Squadron Leader Dave.


Mountains: Afghanistan's rugged terrain passes under the wing of an Air Force Hercules during a flight in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Air Force Hercules and 37 air and ground crew are providing tactical air transport as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.


Loading: Air Force personnel load supplies onto their Hercules based in Kyrgyzstan. The Air Force Hercules and 37 air and ground crew are providing tactical air transport as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.


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