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RAAF in New Zealand for NZDF Exercise

29 March 2010

Four F/A -18 Hornet fighters from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will be in New Zealand on exercise with the New Zealand Army and Royal New Zealand Air Force from 29 March – 13 April.

During their visit the aircraft and members of No. 3 Squadron RAAF will be taking ‘time out’ to appear at the Warbirds Over Wanaka Air Show.

Members of the public in the vicinity of Air Force Base Ohakea are advised the presence of the jets will likely see an increase in noise levels from 30 March -12 April.

People living in the vicinity of Christchurch International Airport are advised of fast jet activity from 1-4 April.

Exercise WILLOH 2010, which begins after the Wanaka Air Show, will enable personnel to develop the skills they need to call in assistance in the event of combat situations while on deployment. In addition the F/A -18s will be used in fighter evasion training with the RNZAF’s No. 40 Squadron which provides tactical and strategic air transport around the world.

The RNZAF’s coordinator for EX WILLOH 2010, Squadron Leader Carl Smith says the exercise is an invaluable opportunity for the RAAF, NZ Army and RNZAF to train together and build on an already close Anzac relationship.

“By training together we can ensure both Defence Forces are able to effectively respond to regional issues.  In recent times this coordinated approach has seen us respond to the Tongan ferry disaster, the Samoan tsunami, and the cyclones that have recently affected our Pacific neighbours.”

ENDS

For further information please contact Anna Sussmilch, Defence Communications Group, on 04 496 0286 or 021 676.

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