Protecting the Pacific all in a days work
It’s a challenging job commanding a squadron of Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K Orion aircraft, but Wing Commander Logan Cudby thrives on it.
He works at RNZAF Base Whenuapai to ensure 5 Squadron is ready to conduct Pacific surveillance, fisheries patrols and search and rescue operations at the drop of a hat.
Just last week one the squadron’s five Orions rescued six Tongan fishermen from their boat, Denisiola, which was broken down and drifting North of Tonga.
“We are responsible for patrolling six million square miles of ocean, including much of the South Pacific, so it’s a significant task for the squadron. It’s satisfying knowing that what we do makes a difference and is appreciated by our Pacific neighbours.”
Before becoming the Commanding Officer of 5 Squadron last year, Wing Commander Cudby served in Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Macedonia and Somalia.
During a UN deployment to Timor-Leste in 2000 he received a gallantry award for negotiating with a rampaging mob and ensuring the safety of a UN patrol. He’s an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his service in Afghanistan.