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NZ Air Force Wins Top Place In US Exercise

24 August 2011

NZ Air Force Wins Top Place In US Exercise

A USAF Humvee is loaded into an RNZAF C130 Hercules on Ex Green Flag East. Credit - US Air Force, Little Rock, AFB.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) from No.40 Squadron flying a C -130 Hercules aircraft completed their missions as part of Exercise Green Flag East in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA winning the top prize. The squadron has been flying two missions per day in 40°C plus with three other competing crews.

Exercise Green Flag East supports the Joint Readiness Training Centre (JRTC), based in Fort Polk Louisiana which conducts preparedness training for US Army Units on a rotational basis. The 34th Combat Training Squadron provides tactical air transport for JRTC rotation from Little Rock Air Force Base (LRAFB). The No.40 Sqn detachment from RNZAF Base Auckland has been flying a variety of tactical air-land and air drop missions as well as aeromedical evacuations flights, paratroop insertions and escape and evasion exercises.

Squadron Leader Andy Scott is a C130 Hercules pilot and the Hercules Flight Commander for No.40 Squadron. "For the guys that haven't been before, it's a really good eye opener for the type of mission they will fly in a combat environment. A lot of the tasks run to the real time that you have to cope with when you are flying. It's some of the best training that we can get anywhere in the world, to be honest".

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This is the fourth time No.40 Squadron has been involved in this activity but the first time under the name Exercise Green Flag East.

C130 Hercules Loadmaster Sergeant Destry Tumataiki has flown five missions since he arrived. "It's the best flying I have ever done in terms of tempo. It's like real time operations," he said.

US Exercise Green Flag East Director, Lieutenant Colonel Derek Waterman said, "The 317th Airlift Group who are also participating are preparing for deployed operations just like the Kiwis are. It's a great opportunity to integrate and exercise deploying the whole package, including maintenance crews".


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