15 November 2012
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, with Chief of Air Force, AVM Stockwell and GPCAPT Webb in Ohakea.
Today, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall travelled to Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Base Ohakea on an RNZAF Boeing 757 aircraft. En route to Ohakea the words ‘Kia Ora’ could be seen from the aircraft, as the local school children assembled at the Sanson Domain to form a personal welcome for Their Royal Highnesses.
Following the visit to the Manawatu region Their Royal Highnesses returned to Ohakea to meet base personnel and their families.
The RNZAF staff and families gathered at the Helicopter Transition Unit (HTU) hangar to meet Their Royal Highnesses. The HTU houses the RNZAF’s newest helicopters, the NH90 and A109.
"This is a significant visit for the Air Force and I am sure that our people will remember this day for many years to come," said Air Vice-Marshal Peter Stockwell, Chief of Air Force.
The visit by the Prince of Wales is especially significant for the RNZAF as the Prince is the Air Commodore-in-Chief of the RNZAF. The Prince of Wales congratulated the RNZAF earlier this year on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the RNZAF in a video message.
The Prince of Wales has a strong association with the military, embarking on a naval career following in the foot-steps of his father, grandfather and both of his great-grandfathers. The Prince also qualified as a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot flying both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. The Prince’s two sons are helicopter pilots. Prince William is currently serving in the RAF and Prince Harry with the British Army.
For more information contact the Defence Communications Group on 021 487 980