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Dunedin man prepares to deploy to Timor Leste

Air, 3 Sqn, Ohakea, People: Personnel from 3 sqn that are about to head off to East Timor. FGOFF Mike Garrett.

19 April 2007

Dunedin’s Mike Garrett is packing his flying suit and night vision goggles as he prepares to deploy to Timor Leste to fly a Royal New Zealand Air Force Iroquois helicopter.

The 25 year old former Bayfield High School student is one of six RNZAF pilots and 26 support personnel deploying to the South East Asian country next week.

“I’ve wanted to fly helicopters since my first trip in one 10 years ago,” Flying Officer Garrett said.

“The Iroquois can perform an incredibly diverse range of tasks and the support the Air Force can offer New Zealand and Australian soldiers on the ground will make a significant difference.”

The Air Force contingent will support the Australian-led Combined Joint task force by assisting with insertion and extraction of patrols, the provision of aero medical evacuation and air logistic support.

The first of two Iroquois helicopters being deployed to Timor will depart on a RNZAF C-130 Hercules on April 23.

Flying Officer Garrett will deploy with the second Iroquois helicopter and support crew on April 26. The personnel deploying next week are drawn from the Ohakea based 3 Squadron.
They will remain in Timor Leste for approximately three months as the first three-month rotation of what will be a 12 month deployment.

ENDS

For further information please contact James Heffield, Defence Public Relations, on 04 496 0286 or 021 676 338.