The Royal New Zealand Air Force is conducting Tactical Exercise 22 (TACEX 22) from RNZAF Base Ohakea in the Manawatū and Rangitikei area, from 31 October to 11 November 2022.
CAPTION: A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130H flys over RNZAF Base Ohakea during Tactical Exercise 22. RNZAF photo.
The navigational training exercise involves two Hercules C-130H aircraft and personnel from both the RNZAF No. 40 Squadron and the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) 122 Squadron.
No. 40 Squadron detachment commander Squadron Leader Kendall Dooley said the exercise would provide crews with a range of flying training, including over unfamiliar and challenging terrain, and coordinating pallet drops into drop zones.
“It tests our crews’ proficiency in tactical flying and dropping loads so they’re ready to assist in resupply, humanitarian aid and disaster relief, or search-and-rescue operations whenever required by the New Zealand Government,” Squadron Leader Dooley said.
This year the RSAF is participating in the annual training activity, which allows the RNZAF to build relationships and interoperability with international partners.
Air Component Commander Air Commodore Shaun Sexton said RNZAF had a long-standing and strong relationship with the Singapore air force.
“It’s important that we continue to train with our key partners so we’re ready and able to operate alongside each other when we might be called upon,” Air Commodore Sexton said.
“The air mobility and airdrop skills being practiced during TACEX22 are crucial when responding to a range of challenging situations that could eventuate in the Asia-Pacific region.”
The aircrews are working alongside the New Zealand Army’s 5th Movements Company, which is constructing and preparing loads, and 10th Transport Company, which recovers the loads once they have been delivered to the drop zones.
Squadron Leader Dooley said that in order for the New Zealand Defence Force to maintain its readiness to deploy, it needed to undertake training in land, air and sea environments.
“Being able to exercise in various environments ensures our personnel are highly trained and able to support domestic, regional and global-security situations.”