SGT Timmy Wilson pictured alongside the Iroquois Helicopter at Warbirds over Wanaka, Easter weekend.
16 May 2014
Whanganui man, Sergeant (SGT) Timmy Wilson has lived out all his childhood dreams during his 15 year career in the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).
The Whanganui High School old boy has been a part of more than one service in the NZDF. He joined the New Zealand Army as an infantryman in 1998 and a year later was deployed to East Timor as a rifleman/gunner. Six years later he switched services and joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force as a fire-fighter at Ohakea, but he describes his current role as helicopter crewman in 3 Squadron as by far the most interesting and challenging.
“I have achieved all my childhood dreams in my 15 year career, frontline infantry, fire-fighter and now helicopter crewman,” said SGT Wilson.
“I wouldn’t last five minutes in a nine to five desk job, but with the New Zealand Defence Force you never know what you are going to be doing next. You can go from searching for lost hunters in the ranges one night to preparing for a six month deployment the next. It’s awesome.
“As a helicopter crewman I inspect and prepare the aircraft for flying, and conduct training flights which includes winching, under slung loads, low flying and practicing for emergency situations. As a member of 3 Squadron I am also involved in planning and conducting tasks such as search and rescue and providing support to the New Zealand Army and New Zealand Police during training exercises.”
SGT Wilson’s career in the military has taken him all around the Pacific, Australia, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea (PNG).
“My deployment to PNG in 2012 has been the highlight of my flying career. I had not been there before and was unaware of how vast the country was. The mountain ranges and jungle were some of the roughest terrain I have ever seen.”
3 Squadron was sent to PNG to provide support to the election process.
SGT Wilson says that there are other Whanganui High School students who have joined the New Zealand Defence Force and he enjoys running into them on joint missions and exercises.
“Whanganui people are a traditionally proud, industrious people and as a result we adapt well to military ethos and values,” he said.