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First Deployment for New Plymouth Man

LAC Sam Cadman preparing to guide the P-3K2 onto the tarmac to prepare for takeoff during Exercise ROKKIWI
LAC Sam Cadman preparing to guide the P-3K2 onto the tarmac to prepare for takeoff during Exercise ROKKIWI [20130624_WN_K1023900_0009.JPG]

Flexibility is a key requirement for effective air power, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force's Leading Aircraftman (LAC) Sam Cadman (23) certainly proved he was flexible after being given less than 24 hours' notice to go on the recent Exercise ROKKIWI.

Exercise ROKKIWI is a biennial exercise held in South Korea. During the exercise, a P-3K2 Orion from No 5 Squadron of the RNZAF conducted a number of flights off the east coast of South Korea providing the opportunity to work alongside the Republic of Korea Navy in combined anti-submarine warfare operations. The exercise also involved United States Navy P-3Cs from the 7th Fleet, based in Japan. The last time New Zealand was involved in an exercise with South Korea was in 2009.

Normally personnel are given more notice before deploying overseas, but because another member of the contingent fell sick, LAC Cadman was asked to come along. He wasn’t at all worried at the late notice as this is his first time deploying.

"By the time the trip is over, we will have been through eight different countries in four weeks. It has been an amazing experience and we have had the opportunity to experience a different culture, much different to New Zealand."

Originally from New Plymouth, LAC Cadman joined the Air Force in 2008 after deciding he wanted a career that was interesting but without incurring a large student loan. LAC Cadman is an Avionics Technician, and with his current posting to No 5 Squadron this means he looks after the maintenance of all electrical components on the P-3K2.

When he isn’t working on aircraft, LAC Cadman is a keen rugby player and plays for the Air Force rugby team. When asked if he would recommend the Air Force as a place to work, he says yes without hesitation.

"There’s no other job like it in New Zealand. Most days you’re doing something different, and the friendships that are made are invaluable."

The Orion is now on its way home and is due back in New Zealand tomorrow.

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