28 January 2013
Aircraftsman Hayden Smith in front of the RNZAF's new A109 helicopter at the Masterton Air Show 2013.
Being paid while studying was the smart choice for Aircraftman Hayden Smith.
Hayden (20) returned to his home town of Masterton to show off the new skills he had acquired as a communications centre operator in the Air Force.
Now based at Ohakea Air Base, Hayden returned to Masterton for the Wings Over Wairarapa Air show and said he had thought about going to University after leaving Masterton College but chose the Air Force because of its career options.
"I could train, get paid and travel at the same time. It seemed an obvious decision to make."
He said he didn’t want to go to University first because, "everyone else was doing that."
Hayden processes secure signals and protects that information ensuring communications security is maintained and was showing interested people what his job entailed at the air show as part of the Air Force display team.
He says he enjoys the education he is getting and the skills he is learning through the courses he is taking.
"I see the Air Force as a long term career. I can’t imagine doing anything else."
When he’s not working Hayden, as an avid motocross rider is on his Honda CRF 450.
"When it’s not broken," he said.
"I’ve been riding since I was five or six years old and still get to compete sometimes which is great."