Fiordland Man Returns From Hunting Pirates

RNZAF Air Warfare Officer Flight Lieutenant Jason Lush onboard a P-3K2 Orion aircraft.
RNZAF Air Warfare Officer Flight Lieutenant Jason Lush onboard a P-3K2 Orion aircraft.

23 October 2014

Former Fiordland man and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) Jason Lush has just returned home from hunting pirates in the Middle East.

FLTLT Lush has spent the last three months leading a team of specialists onboard an RNZAF P-3K2 Orion aircraft, which has been part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) international counter-piracy effort in the Middle East.

“I’m an Air Warfare Officer, responsible for mission planning and implementation in flight,” said FLTLT Lush.

“I work closely with the pilot to determine the best aircraft flight path. I lead the team that operates the P-3K2 Orion’s specialised mission sensors used for airborne surveillance and reconnaissance work.”

Operating under command of Pakistan Navy-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) and working with Australian frigate HMAS Toowoomba, the P-3K2 crew was recently able to locate and track a ship from the Arabian Sea to the Horn of Africa, resulting in the seizure of 5588kgs of hashish in hessian bags, with a value of $280 million (AUD).

“Coordinating with the Royal Australian Navy’s frigate HMAS Toowoomba to achieve the successful interception of a smuggling vessel, and seizure of millions of dollars worth of drugs was the highlight of my deployment,” said FLTLT Lush.

“This deployment to the Middle East provided a good opportunity to operate our aircraft in a complex environment, and to work closely with our own support squadrons who deployed with us.

A keen hunter and fisherman, FLTLT Lush is not done with travelling ‘overseas’ just yet.

“Now that I’m home I plan to catch up with my brother William who is an aircraft technician with the Air Force, and I’m going to take a fishing trip in the Chatham Islands,” said FLTLT Lush.


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This page was last reviewed on 23 October 2014.