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Aviation Enthusiast From North Shore Helps Philippine Typhoon Survivors

orporal Paul Manning helps offload aid supplies delivered by the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s C-130 to the eastern Philippines city of Tacloban, one of the areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan
Corporal Paul Manning helps offload aid supplies delivered by the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s C-130 to the eastern Philippines city of Tacloban, one of the areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan

Corporal Paul Manning collected model airplanes as a child. So it was no surprise to his family and friends when he joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in early 2005.

“I like a hands-on job, one that requires practical engineering,” said the former Rangitoto College student.

As an Avionics Technician on No. 40 Squadron, Corporal Manning helps fix the radars, navigation systems, radio and other communications equipment of the C-130 and the Boeing 757 in the RNZAF fleet.

He is currently in the central Philippines city of Cebu as part of the 24-member 40 Squadron detachment delivering aid supplies and evacuating survivors from the typhoon-devastated areas.

“It’s very hot but very rewarding with all of us working long days. We are trained to do humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations,” said Corporal Manning.

“Being able to help the people here and to see the results is very rewarding.”

“Joining the Air Force is a fun way to see the world,” according to Corporal Manning. “There are plenty of opportunities to train and to make good friends. It’s a fun place to work.”

Over the past eight years, he has been deployed to Antarctica, Afghanistan, Brunei, Malaysia and the Marshall Islands.

In Christmas 2010, he formed part of a rescue mission sent to Antarctica to assist a Russian vessel that was in danger of sinking after hitting an iceberg.

“We flew on a C-130 to drop some supplies for the crew of the stricken ship and a pump that they used to drain the water and keep the ship from sinking,” he related.

Through the Air Force, he completed a three-year avionics training at Woodbourne Air Force Base and a two-year diploma in engineering at the Auckland University of Technology.

ENDS

For more information, please contact the Defence Communications Group on 021 487 980.

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