24 July 2015
If she has her way, Sergeant Kim Madsen prefers to travel light. But as Logistics Specialist for the Royal New Zealand Air Force based at Ohakea, she has to pack spare parts and tools every time she is deployed.
SGT Madsen forms part of a 40-member contingent from the RNZAF’s 3 Squadron that are taking part in Talisman Sabre 15, the largest warfighting exercise that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) conducts with the US military.
“For Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015, we brought aeronautical components and consumable items from the flight store. It is a good opportunity to test our deployed logistics support for the NH90 helicopters, which are deployed overseas for the first time,” said SGT Madsen.
During the exercise, two of the Squadron’s NH90 helicopters were embedded within the ADF’s 16 Aviation Brigade and operated with six Australian MRH-90 and eight ARH Tiger helicopters and up to 600 US troops fighting the ‘ground war’ in the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area in Central Queensland.
“In the past three weeks, I’ve gained insights into the ADF operations and networked with my Australian counterparts. From what I learnt here, I intend to develop standard operating procedures for future deployments and make improvements to our supply chain and joint logistics,” SGT Madsen said.
“It has been a good opportunity to learn from the ADF and how their logistics support works for the MRH-90s that can potentially benefit the RNZAF and how we do business,” she added.
When she is not deployed, SGT Madsen is the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer in-charge of 3 Squadron’s Forward Support Section, which provides logistics support to the Air Force’s NH90 and A-109 helicopters.
SGT Madsen joined the Air Force in 1999 after graduating from Horowhenua College.
“The study and travel opportunities attracted me to join. A family friend who was in the Air Force also made a great pitch for a career in logistics.”
Given her experience, she encourages high school students to consider a career in the Air Force. “Give it a go if you want to learn new skills, work with a great bunch of people and have fun at the same time.”