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Kaitaia Man Returns From Hunting Pirates

RNZAF Air Warfare Specialist Corporal Jesse Liddicoat onboard a P-3K2 Orion aircraft.
RNZAF Air Warfare Specialist Corporal Jesse Liddicoat onboard a P-3K2 Orion aircraft.

Former Kaitaia man and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Corporal (CPL) Jesse Liddicoat has just returned home from hunting pirates in the Middle East.

CPL Liddicoat has spent the last three months as a crewmember of an RNZAF P-3K2 Orion aircraft which has been part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), international counter-piracy effort in the Middle East.

“I’m an Air Warfare Specialist and my role is to operate the specialised mission sensors on board the Air Force’s P-3K2 Orion aircraft, used for airborne surveillance and reconnaissance work,” said CPL Liddicoat.

Operating under command of Pakistan Navy-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), and working with Australian frigate HMAS Toowoomba, the P-3K2 crew was recently able to locate and track a dhow (ship) from the Arabian Sea to the Horn of Africa, resulting in the seizure of 5588kgs of hashish in hessian bags, with a value of $280 million (AUD).

“It has been a privilege to be part of global anti-piracy and anti-drug smuggling operations, and I have enjoyed it,” said CPL Liddicoat.

“Our work tempo has been high with many hours flown, and it was a great opportunity to gain experience in my role and in a combined military operation.

“Since commencing flying in 2010 I’ve travelled all across the Pacific and around the world. I’m looking forward to further opportunities to deploy again, but first I need to take a break with my wife Katie.

“I met my wife when we were students at Kaitaia College, and before I go anywhere else we are going to head back to Kaitaia to see my family and go for a surf.”

ENDS

For further information please contact the Defence Communications Group on 021 487 980 or email media@nzdf.mil.nz

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