The New Zealand Defence Force’s air transport mission in the Middle East got off to a flying start this week, with the delivery of two tonnes of supplies for coalition troops operating in Iraq.
The 32-strong detachment and a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130H(NZ) Hercules aircraft are operating with the Australian Defence Force’s air mobility task group to transport supplies and personnel required for New Zealand, Australian and coalition operations in the Middle East region.
Squadron Leader Brad Scott, the Commander of the air transport team’s first rotation, said 30 New Zealand military personnel were also flown to Camp Taji in Iraq this week.
“The entire team has been looking forward to this mission and to work once again with our Australian partners,” Squadron Leader Scott said.
“Everyone is eager to get stuck in and show why we are regarded as a reliable and trusted coalition partner.”
The detachment includes aircraft technicians, logistics specialists, maintenance personnel, and an Air Movements Load Team that will support coalition aircraft in the region.
On a similar six-month deployment in 2016 an NZDF air transport mission transported nearly 800 tonnes of supplies and about 3200 military personnel to Iraq and Afghanistan. A month-long mission in 2017 transported 120 tonnes of supplies and about 500 personnel supporting coalition operations in the Middle East.f