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Kiwi Aircrew at Work Over the Cold Waters of Scotland

Kiwi Aircrew at Work Over the Cold Waters of Scotland

An RNZAF P-3K2 Orion and crew from No. 5 Squadron are now in Scotland, taking part in a major multi-national exercise. Some of the Kiwi crew on this exercise were involved in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

Squadron Leader Marcus Hogan, who was the aircraft captain for the RNZAF’s first searches for the missing airliner, says “The long-range, international search over the southern Indian Ocean is an example of the tasks undertaken by our Orions and demonstrated our ability to work alongside our friends and allies in the South East Asia region. Our detachment in Scotland extends those professional linkages to support our partners and allies in a broader international context.”

The Scottish-based exercise JOINT WARRIOR 14 is being conducted from 31 March -16 April and involves ships, submarines, aircraft and land forces from the participating nations in a complex multi-threat scenario.

Air Component Commander, Air Commodore Kevin McEvoy, explains that the exercise provides a unique and excellent joint training opportunity for No.5 Squadron and the RNZAF supporting units.

“This exercise gives us a special opportunity to also continue our Operational Testing and Evaluation of the new capabilities for our upgraded Orions.”

As part of the international benchmarking that will be achieved from this deployment, our Orion and crew will be working alongside comparable maritime surveillance aircraft from the French Navy (an Atlantique II), United States Navy (P-3C Orions and a P-8 Poseidon), Royal Canadian Air Force (CP-140 Auroras) and the Royal Norwegian Air Force (P-3C Orion). Over two dozen surface warships and four submarines are taking part in this joint exercise, and our Orion crew will work with, and against, various combinations of ships from this naval force.

AIRCDRE McEvoy says that deploying the RNZAF Orion to this exercise will enhance our defence relations with the other participating nations and improve our interoperability with allies and coalition partners.

“As well, the complex scenario provides relevant training for our RNZAF personnel who are to deploy later this year in support of coalition anti-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea region.”

The Orion and its crew are due to return to New Zealand by 18 April.


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