A C-130 Hercules crew from the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) was judged the top performing crew in a multi-national exercise held in the United States recently.
Caption: The 40 Squadron contingent, with support personnel in the back (maintenance, mission planning team, observers, intelligence, and air load team).
Seventeen crews from four countries (Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United States) took part in Exercise Green Flag, in Little Rock, Arkansas from 15-25 April 2016.
The RNZAF crew from 40 Squadron, led by aircraft captain Flight Lieutenant Alex Tredrea, took out the “Top Cat” award as best overall crew, based on criteria such as accuracy of bomb drops, time on target, planning and tactics used, and ability to react to short-notice changes.
Exercise Green Flag is an operational preparedness training exercise aimed at providing realistic experience of working with other militaries in a combat environment. In this case the RNZAF crew were in support of the US 101st Airborne Division fighting a simulated ground war.
Detachment Commander, Squadron Leader Leigh Foster said the exercise required the RNZAF crew to conduct airdrops delivering food, water, and weapons and also undertake missions to deliver vehicles, large weaponry, ammunition and personnel to the army to ensure positions were attained and maintained.
“The feedback was that the flexibility and operational focus our crew displayed was outstanding,” SQNLDR Foster said.
The RNZAF participate in annual routine training exercises such as Green Flag to build and maintain the skills and capabilities required in a real-world situation.