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Big Brother Becomes Youngest Course Recruit For RNZAF

Kaliomiha Talamahina is the youngest of 61 graduates from this year’s Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) recruit course and says that youthful starting point gave him the drive to succeed.

The 17-year-old will parade at RNZAF Base Woodbourne this Friday with his family in attendance.

Aircraftman Talamahina taking part in Exercise He Taua at Dip Flat in Marlborough

Growing up in Niue, his family moved to New Zealand six years ago, where they live in Avondale, Auckland.

He has five younger siblings and he found the tables were turned on him during the course.

“Other people here have more life experience than me so I want to show everyone I am mature and responsible,” he said.

“They are there for me to learn from. I ask questions and they help guide me.”

Having the strong network of people around him helped him through the more stressful times of recruit training.

“There is lot to learn while we are here, and there is a lot of attention to detail. You need to be ready to go whenever they call on you,” he said.

His father served in the New Zealand Army as a gunner, also signing up as a 17-year-old.

Aircraftman Talamahina said growing up in a military household helped him adapt more easily to life as a recruit.

“All the lessons my Dad has given me in life are similar to what I am learning in the Air Force. He doesn’t talk too much about his time in the Army, but I can start to see why he is the way that he is,” he said.

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Aircraftman Talamahina is almost at the end of the three-month training course, and in this time he has loved the hands-on learning and wide range of experiences he has had - including weapons training, field survival skills and physical fitness training.

The recruits will also have the chance to demonstrate their impressive military drills by parading at the graduation ceremony this week and Aircraftman Talimahina said he was looking forward to having his family there to see everything he has learnt.

“Being able to support my family is really important to me. I paid for the flights down so they could be at the graduation.

“My Dad doesn’t show a lot of emotion but I know he is proud of me,” said Aircraftman Talamahina.

Once he graduates, Aircraftman Talamahina will start his primary trade training with Security Forces – a role which will see him protecting RNZAF personnel and equipment against a range of threats.

Outside of his trade, he is also interested in playing sport.

“I have grown up playing rugby and basketball and played on high school and rep teams and would like the chance to represent the New Zealand Defence Force.”

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