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Air Force Hercules Exercise over the Manawatu and Rangitikei

A load is dropped from an RNZAF C-130H Hercules aircraft

A load is dropped from an RNZAF C-130H Hercules aircraft

18 February 2014

The Royal New Zealand Air Force's (RNZAF) No. 40 Squadron will conduct tactical airlift and airdrop training over the period 17-24 February 2014 based out of RNZAF Base Ohakea.

The two C-130H Hercules aircraft and 42 personnel normally based out of RNZAF Base Auckland, will be supported by elements from Base Auckland, Ohakea and Linton Camp.

Flight Commander of the Hercules flight, Squadron Leader Steve Thornley said, “The exercise focuses on air drop missions and air to land resupply operations.

“During the exercise a variety of practice loads will be dropped from the aircraft onto the Raumai Range, from large drums strapped to pallets to military vehicles. We work closely with personnel from the NZ Army’s 5 Movements Company based out of Linton Camp. The Movements Operators help with the preparation of the loads and their recovery.”

Members of the public won’t fail to notice the aircraft in the sky due to their size and flight profiles and should be reassured all precautions are taken to ensure the safety of people in the air and on land.

“At the speed we are travelling we are literally overhead only for a couple of seconds”, said Squadron Leader Thornley. “But it can be a little disconcerting when you look up and see a large aircraft zoom by when you are only used to seeing them on approach at the airport.

“Our flights are conducted within civil aviation regulations and with strict operating parameters including for altitude. So members of the public can be reassured that the operations are being conducted with safety in mind” said Squadron Leader Thornley.

ENDS

Media seeking more information are requested to contact Squadron Leader Lyn Coromandel, 021 420 899.

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