5 July 2013
The crew of a RNZAF P-3K2 Orion from No 5 Squadron in the Republic of Korea as part of Exercise ROKKIWI [20130617_WN_K1023900_0032.jpg ]
"What an amazing country and culture!" That was Air Force Corporal John Maiava’s first reaction to South Korea on arrival as part of Exercise ROKKIWI.
Exercise ROKKIWI is a biennial exercise held in the Republic of Korea. During the exercise, a P-3K2 Orion from No 5 Squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force conducted a number of flights off the east coast of South Korea, providing the opportunity to work alongside the Republic of Korea Navy in combined anti-submarine warfare operations.
The exercise included involvement from United States Navy P-3Cs from the 7th Fleet, based in Japan. The last time New Zealand was involved in an exercise with ROK was in 2009.
This is not the first deployment for CPL Maiava, and it never gets old for him.
"Deploying is what we are trained to do; it’s what we sign up for. As we are a maritime force element, most of our deployments are in the Pacific. It was a good experience to go somewhere a bit further from home this time."
CPL Maiava, originally from Palmerston North, joined the RNZAF in 2008 as an Air Warfare Specialist on the Orion. His role on the aircraft is to operate the sensor systems such as the radar, electro-optics and acoustics.
When he is not flying, CPL Maiava enjoys sport, particularly soccer and touch. "I love sport and I love to travel. I’m really lucky that the RNZAF is an organisation that pays and encourages me to do these things."
The Orion is now on its way home and is due back in New Zealand next week.