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RNZAF Aircraft Perform Well In South Korea

Flight Lieutenant Jamin Baker, 5 Sqn, is welcomed to the base in Pohang by Mayor of Pohang City, Mr Seung-Ho Park.

Flight Lieutenant Jamin Baker, 5 Sqn, is welcomed to the base in Pohang by Mayor of Pohang City, Mr Seung-Ho Park.

Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel from Base Auckland in Whenuapai are busy hunting submarines on an exercise in South Korea and checking out the capabilities of their upgraded P-3K2 Orion aircraft.

The 5 Squadron detachment was welcomed to Pohang (one of Auckland’s sister cities) by members of the South Korean Navy’s Air Wing 6 last week for Exercise ROKKIWI, a biennial anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise hosted by the South Korean Navy.

The Orion has carried out a number of flights over the Sea of Japan, off the east coast of South Korea, practising tactical level cooperation and coordination with defence partners. On this occasion United States Navy P-3Cs from the 7th Fleet, based in Japan, are also participating.

The detachment commander, Wing Commander Aaron Benton, says that the upgraded aircraft is performing well.

"This is the first exercise with the upgraded P-3K2 deployed. As the South Korean Navy has submarines, this is a fantastic chance to test our anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

"South Korea is also upgrading its P-3 fleet so we are able to create synergies and learn from each other as to what things work and what don't.

"Working with another nation that also has P-3s gives us the opportunity to coordinate activities with more aircraft," he said.

Off-duty, the detachment has been touring Pohang and meeting locals. They have also hosted the Mayor of Pohang and taken him for a flight in the Orion.

ENDS

For further information please contact Defence Communications Group, phone 021 487 980

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