NZ Orion undertaking multiple tasks in the Pacific

AUCKLAND – The New Zealand Defence Force has sent an Orion on multiple tasks in the South West Pacific over the next five days.

The plane is to deliver mail, observe activity from an underwater volcano, and carry out maritime surveillance patrols.

Squadron leader Jimmy Peters said first up they will air-drop about 130 kilograms of mail for Department of Conservation staff in the Kermadecs..

The aircraft will also survey Monowai, an active underwater volcano halfway between Tonga and the Kermadecs, for GNS Science.

On Friday a 17-member team will brief officials from several Niue government agencies about the Defence Force’s maritime surveillance and search and rescue capabilities.

The acting Air Component Commander, Shaun Sexton, said the work is the perfect example of the range of tasks the air force undertakes to support other New Zealand government agencies and New Zealand’s island neighbours.

The NZDF regularly sends aircraft and ships to conduct maritime surveillance patrols and also last year flew 114 hours on nine search and rescue missions in the Pacific.

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