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Japanese Maritime Force Welcomes Air Force Orion

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release
16 April 2009

Japanese Maritime Force Welcomes Air Force Orion

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WN09-0035-12: P3K is welcomed to Kanoya AB by VP-1 members

A Royal New Zealand Air Force P3-K Orion touched down at Kanoya Air Base in southern Japan as part of a short goodwill visit and bilateral engagement with the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF).

The Orion crew were welcomed by the Commanding Officer of VP-1 Squadron, Captain Tatsuro Tato. The Japanese visit was aimed at enhancing international and defence relations between the two countries and engaging professionally with other maritime patrol forces.

“The JMSDF operate the P3-C variant of the Orion and the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge is of real benefit to our crews,” said Detachment Commander, Wing Commander Brendon Pett.

It wasn’t all work though, as the Kiwi Orion crew took on their Japanese hosts in a friendly game of touch rugby.

“It’s always great to have some time out during long deployments and have some fun. While there were some great skills shown by both sides I think the hard fought draw was a fair reflection of the game,” said Air Warfare Officer Flight Lieutenant Adam O’Rourke.

The No. 5 Squadron Orion and crew stopped over in Japan on their way to Exercise ROKIWI, a joint training exercise with the Republic of Korea.

• No.5 Squadron is one of the force elements under the command of the Air Component Commander JFHQ. Located at RNZAF Base Auckland, the Squadron is the RNZAF's only maritime patrol squadron. It is responsible for surveillance of New Zealand's maritime area of interest, which is approximately 1/12 of the world's ocean surface, ranging from the Antarctic to the equator.
• The RNZAF maintains a P-3K Orion and crew on 24-hour search and rescue call out 365 days of the year. A permanent crew is always on two-hour call out standby.
• The P-3K Orion has a flight time of 15 hours during search and rescue operations with two engines shut down to preserve fuel.


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