USAAF participates in Exercise Kiwi Flag

NEW ZEALAND AIR FORCE BASE AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AFNS) — Two C‑17 Globe­mas­ter IIIs and 70 Air­men from the U.S. Air Force par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Roy­al New Zealand Air Force’s Exer­cise Kiwi Flag from March 26 through April 4 at RNZAF Base When­u­a­pa, New Zealand.

U.S. Air Force and Roy­al New Zealand Air Force air­men pre­pare for a com­bined para­chute jump over Roy­al New Zealand Air Force Base When­u­a­pai, New Zealand, March 26, 2012, dur­ing Exer­cise Kiwi Flag. In addi­tion to con­duct­ing tac­ti­cal air­lift oper­a­tions, the part­ner nations con­duct­ed sub­ject mat­ter expert exchanges in aeromed­ical evac­u­a­tion, air­craft main­te­nance and para­chute jumps. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Rebec­ca Heyse)

Exer­cise Kiwi Flag is a mul­ti­lat­er­al, tac­ti­cal air mobil­i­ty exer­cise that aims to improve the inter­op­er­abil­i­ty and part­ner­ship of the par­tic­i­pat­ing nations. 

U.S. Air Force Air­men worked along­side Roy­al Aus­tralian Air Force, New Cale­do­nia French Defense Force, Repub­lic of Sin­ga­pore Air Force and RNZAF coun­ter­parts as well as a KC-130 Her­cules crew from the U.S. Marine Corps. Dur­ing the exer­cise, they con­duct­ed com­bined flight oper­a­tions to include air­craft mis­sion gen­er­a­tion and recov­ery, low-lev­el nav­i­ga­tion and tac­ti­cal airdrops. 

The exer­cise was part of the larg­er 75th anniver­sary of the RNZAF celebrations. 

“The U.S. is hon­ored to par­tic­i­pate in the 75th anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of the Roy­al New Zealand Air Force,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jay Belmear, the U.S. exer­cise direc­tor for Kiwi Flag. “Through exer­cis­es such as Kiwi Flag, the U.S. is able to devel­op and expand com­bined air­lift capa­bil­i­ties with region­al part­ners, enhanc­ing our rela­tion­ship as well as our abil­i­ty to respond to any vari­ety of events through­out the region should the need arise.” 

The New Zealand ter­rain offers unique train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for air­crew, allow­ing them to hone low-lev­el nav­i­ga­tion skills under the watch­ful eye of the New Zealand hosts. 

“Host­ing air­crew and per­son­nel from the U.S. Air Force as well as our oth­er region­al part­ners is thrilling for us,” said Squadron Leader Andy Scott, the RNZAF exer­cise direc­tor. “We are excit­ed to get to show­case some of the dis­tinc­tive oppor­tu­ni­ties that come with fly­ing in our coun­try whilst get­ting to learn from our part­ners about how they con­duct every aspect of the fly­ing mis­sion from plan­ning to debriefing.” 

In addi­tion to the air­lift mis­sions, per­son­nel exchanged best prac­tices and tac­tics dur­ing sub­ject mat­ter expert exchanges in aeromed­ical evac­u­a­tion, air­craft main­te­nance and para­chute jumps. 

U.S. Air Force 

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