Tactical flying for Hercules exercise

Tactical flying for Hercules exercise
An Air Force C-130 Hercules (WB 06-0065-12)

12 February 2010

Low flying Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules from No. 40 Squadron will be swooping around the top of the South Island from 15 – 24 February as part of the combat qualification exercise TACEX.

The exercise is to train aircrew in C-130 tactical operations and will include formation flying, live airdrop operations involving heavy equipment and container delivery systems, and combat off-load procedures.

Based out of Air Force Base Woodbourne the day time flights will steer clear of built up areas. Drop zones will be in the Grassmere, Lake Station, Seddon, Te Rou and Wairau regions.

C-130 Hercules captain Squadron Leader Andy Scott said the type of flying done during TACEX is to ensure aircrews are familiar with the type of operations that are often used in overseas deployments.

“Flying at 250ft above ground level means there are a number of challenges the aircrew face when tactical flying. With the training on exercises such as TACEX, it means crews are able to perform with confidence when it comes to flying in combat situations or disaster relief.”


For further information please contact Anna Sussmilch, Defence Communications Group, on 04 496 0286 or 021 676 338.

Background Notes

Number 40 Squadron is located at RNZAF Base Whenuapai

The Squadron operates five C-130H Hercules and two Boeing 757-200s

The Squadron forms the Fixed Wing Transport Force of the New Zealand Defence Force

Elements and provides:

  • Strategic air transport
  • Tactical air transport
  • Support to the government
  • Support to the NZ Antarctic programme
  • Disaster relief and humanitarian operations
  • Aero-medical evacuation
  • Civil Defence support in NZ and the South Pacific and;
  • VIP air transport


This page was last reviewed on 20 January 2011.