INDEPENDENT NEWS

First 757 Ice Flight Caps Off Antarctic Mission

Published: Thu 17 Dec 2009 02:13 PM
Hon Dr Wayne Mapp
Minister of Defence
17 December 2009
Media Statement
First 757 Ice Flight Caps Off Antarctic Mission
“The successful return flight of an RNZAF 757 aircraft from No40 SQN from Christchurch to Antarctica and back is a highlight in a very successful ice season for the New Zealand Defence Force” says Defence Minister Wayne Mapp.
“This successful test flight opens up exciting possibilities for the future of our Antarctic support operations. The Hercules is a great load-lifter, but the 757 excels in moving people and smaller freight items. In addition, it gets there in half the time. This is good news for efficiency. It is also good news for the passengers.
“The Antarctic is a harsh and demanding environment. This flight is a credit to the skill and professionalism of the RNZAF. The experience will be invaluable to developing our future airlift programme” said Dr Mapp.
The 757 flight adds to the major support effort undertaken by the NZDF in the Antarctic region.
“The regular supply flights by our C-130 Hercules are already underway for the season. In addition to the regular NZDF team based in the Antarctic, we have also sent two groups of Army engineers to work on building projects. They will soon be joined by logistic personnel to help unload the supply ship.
“The P-3K Orions from No5 SQN RNZAF which conduct regular fisheries patrols over the southern ocean are also supported from the Antarctic. There is also an NZDF team at Harwood who work with all the US and NZDF Antarctic flights.
“I congratulate all NZDF personnel working on this project and on other deployments overseas and at home. I wish them, and their families, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”
ENDS

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