Maple Flag Interview (video)
This is a downloadable video showing an interview with our Royal New Zealand Air Force Flying Officer Phil Randerson who is participating in Canadian Exercise Maple Flag. Our C130 Hercules has joined more than 60 other military aircraft at Canadian Forces Base, Cold Lake, in Canada.
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Maple Flag is a four-week exercise designed to give Air Forces from participating countries the chance to work together in a simulated air combat environment...Read more, see Training Exercises - Air Force to participate in Canadian Exercise.
Reporter: There is an influx of international visitors at the midwest base, they are taking part in a military exercise which lasts for four weeks. The RNZAF is participating with a C-130 Hercules Airport, bringing the transport element to the event.
RNZAF Flying Officer Phil Randerson: We take supplies into the theatre of operations. We drop them off either out of the aircraft or we land and unload them on the ground and we can also carry troops and insert them by parachute or land them on the ground as well. We are there to support the troops on the ground.
Reporter: Randerson says the Air Force attends Maple Flag every year and it is beneficial to them.
RNZAF Flying Officer Randerson: For a small country like New Zealand we don’t have a lot we can work with back home in terms of fighter jets and things like that so we have to come overseas to do it and it gives us a chance to work with our coalition partners. All of our operations overseas these days are coalition so we work with other countries. To come over here and train with them before we go and do it for real is hugely beneficial.
Reporter: One of the aircraft flown by the French air force is the mirage 2000. Participants agree there are big benefits to the event.
French pilot - Captain Roman Bethoux: It gives the opportunity for a young pilot like me as a combat trainee to perform a great exercise with a lot of allied forces in a big range and its very good for a wingman to practice reaction against similar aircraft.
Reporter: He says working with crews from around the world is a bonus.
French pilot - Captain Roman Bethoux: It’s great to have first contact for the work and I think afterwards it will be easier to make my way on my job.
Reporter: At the end of the day how do the crews gauge success?
RNZAF Flying Officer Randerson: If we can complete the mission, complete our objectives and get back safely having had a little bit of fun then that’s a successful mission for us.
Reporter: At 4 Wing Cold Lake, Stacey Commer, Newcap News.