Riverton Man Keeping Troops Airborne In New Caledonia

4 September 2014
CPL Alexander enjoys some military tourism and ships larger than HMNZS CANTERBURY during Exercise RIMPAC, in Hawaii in July
CPL Alexander enjoys some military tourism and ships larger than HMNZS CANTERBURY during Exercise RIMPAC, in Hawaii in July

From servicing the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN) helicopter in Hawaii to conducting flight line activities with French military helicopters in New Caledonia, Riverton man Corporal (CPL) Dan Alexander is enjoying the variety and travel his role brings.

CPL Alexander, a former Aparima College pupil, is an aircraft maintenance technician in the Whenuapai based Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) 6 Squadron. He is one of eight RNZAF aircraft technicians onboard HMNZS CANTERBURY working in a coalition environment to service the RNZN Seasprite SH-2G helicopter. 

CPL Alexander is helping conduct in-flight refuelling and assisting with flight deck operations during Exercise Croix du Sud, a multinational exercise in New Caledonia that is focused on Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) scenarios.

Exercise Croix du Sud is a joint amphibious exercise which aims to foster and sustain cooperative Defence relationships in our corner of the world.  Military Forces from nine nations are involved in realistic HADR training.  This is of great benefit to the NZDF, which over the past 12 months have deployed in support of HADR initiatives after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and after floods in the Solomon Islands.

Exercise Croix du Sud is CPL Alexander’s second multinational exercise this year, after spending time in Hawaii as part of Exercise RIMPAC in July-August. During Exercise Croix du Sud, CPL Alexander will operate French helicopters, including their Puma and Alouette models, from the flight deck of CANTERBURY while keeping up with the scheduled maintenance servicing on the RNZN’s Seasprite.

“With an interest in aircraft and wanting a career of a technical nature, paid training as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician seemed the perfect choice,” says CPL Alexander.  “I really enjoy the technical nature of my job, such as carrying out detailed inspections and complex component overhauls, and I get to work alongside my mates.”

CPL Alexander has completed a Mechanical Engineering degree at Auckland University, funded by the NZDF.  When he returns to Whenuapai in September he hopes to join a squadron of fixed wing aircraft to further build his skill base.

CPL Alexander is also a member of the Air Force cycling team which has seen him participate in a tour of New Zealand.


For further information or an interview, please contact Defence Communications Group, 021 487 980.


This page was last reviewed on 10 September 2014.