RNZAF Orion Leaves for Middle East
10 February 2017
RNZAF Orion Leaves for Middle East to Help Counter Piracy And Trafficking
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) sent a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft this morning to the Middle East to join an international partnership against piracy and people and drug trafficking.
Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies, the Chief of Air Force, farewelled Wing Commander Daniel Hunt, the mission’s commander, and the air crew at RNZAF Base Auckland. Most of the members of a 55-strong NZDF supporting contingent left earlier this week.
The NZDF team will help patrol 3.2 million square miles of international water in the Middle East to support the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) over the next 12 months.
“The contingent is looking forward to working with our CMF partners to keep the seas safe in the Middle East,” Wing Commander Hunt said.
The CMF is a 31-nation naval partnership that promotes maritime security and seeks to defeat terrorism and prevent piracy and people and drug trafficking.