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5 Sqn Association: Save the Date! Saturday, 21 Jan 2023

Hi 5 Squadron Association Members
Please save Saturday, 21 Jan 2023, the 5 Squadron Family Day at Whenuapai.  This year, CO 5 Sqn has invited Association Members and there families along to this notable day in the Squadron's calendar, made even more notable in that it is the last Family Day involving the P-3K2.  A static aircraft display and the flight deck trainer etc will be open to view.

We are still planning, but can't give dates yet for the End of an Era Dinners etc.  As per our AGM note, we are still waiting on a few decisions to be made in Wellington, before these other function dates can be confirmed.  

But the 21 Jan 2023 Open Day is confirmed.  We will send booking and timing details when we have them.

Keitou kalawaca na wasaliwa
Logan Cudby
5 Squadron Association


5 Sqn AGM Report to Members
Hello 5 Squadron Association
I hope you are getting on OK, wherever you are.  Last Saturday, we held the 5 Sqn Association AGM at the WO’s and SNCO’s Mess, RNZAF Base Auckland and I’ll give you a quick summary of events here.
This was the first AGM since 2020, with the lockdown cancelling the meeting planned for 2021.  It was a smaller group this year and, as always, it was great to get together again.

CO 5, fresh back from flying in Japan and Korea himself, gave an interesting brief on what the Squadron has achieved this year with the three-remaining aircraft, and a very high post-covid attrition rate for maintenance techs and aircrew, especially the former.  Individuals are seeing plenty of Duty Crew as the Squadron continues to juggle operational commitments. The November copy of Air Force News has two articles showing 5 Squadron still covering the oceans from the tropics (a successful SAR of the north coast of Vanua Levu, Fiji) to the Deep South (counting whales off Campbell and Auckland Islands).
CO5 also confirmed that the bulk of the P-3K2 fleet is planned to go to ‘fire bombing operations’ in the USA. Although NZ4203, the first P-3K2 retired will be going to the Air Force Museum at Wigram, where it will be displayed in the ‘K2’ configuration. 

Looking Ahead to the P8
There will be an ‘End of P3’s Function’ in 2023. But the date is yet to be confirmed. There are some possible revisions around the exact finish date for the P3’s Flying Operations and this may have a knock-on effect on when the function will be held.
We will post information on the function as soon as we have it.  We will also look to have our 2023 AGM at the same meeting.  This will be an important AGM as we will be making decisions on how the 5 Squadron Association will run when the Squadron moves to Ohakea.
5 Squadron Association Award 2022
This year the Award went to FLTLT Dash Alur (second from the right in the photo below), DMFC, 5 Sqn for outstanding leadership and teamwork.  FLTLT Alur has embodied the drive, initiative and care for his troops that is always looked for from a DMFC, and he has maintained this excellent work during an incredibly novel and challenging time for the Maintenance Flight.
As a very modest FLTLT Alur said himself over a beer afterwards ‘I have learnt plenty about planning…and replanning.’
5 Squadron Port Orders
Decision made at the meeting included that the Association would financially support the commemorative 5 Squadron Port issue.  This port is a high-end Soljans’ Port, bottled in an attractive bottle, with bespoke commemorative labeling.  Only 500 bottles have been run, and 180 are committed already.
Thanks to our sponsorship, Association members can place orders direct with the organising committee. They are selling for $38 per bottle. Please email orders to FLTLT Mark Brain, on Mark.Brain@nzdf.mil.nz and make payments to:
For payment, please make it  to the 5 SQN Ops Social Club  account; 
Cost is $38.00 per bottle
Please include in the payment reference:
∙Your surname
∙The word “PORT”
Notices of Thanks
We also passed a special motion to thank Peter Culpan, who continues to doing a Stirling job with the 5 Squadron Association Web Site .  The website is a treasure trove of information on everything from Lauthala Bay to the progress of the P8 arrival and is well worth a regular visit.
The committee were thanked for their work over the last couple of years. The committee will remain as is for now. Our thoughts are with the Deputy Chair, Darrell Simpson, who has taken ill and is presently going through treatment.  Darrell is resident at the Keith Park Village, Hobsonville and Don Bennington is in close contact with him and Gill.
Special thanks to our Secretary, the CMC and members of the RNZAF Base Auckland W/Os and SNCOs Mess, and CO5 and the members of 5 Squadron for all the work that went into pulling this AGM together.
Copies of the minutes of the AGM are available from our Secretary, W/O Glen Moratti, who can be emailed at secretary@5sqnassn.org.nz

Keitou kalawaca na wasaliwa
5 Squadron Association
5 Squadron Association on parade 2022
CO 5 reads FLTLT ‘Dash’ Alur's citation at the AGM

With the arrival of the P-8A Poseidon and the retirement of the P-3K2, the Air Ordnance Specialist trade will be disbanded. An event to mark this occasion is planned, please see below for further details.

It is also with much regret I must pass on the passing of another Association member, Glenn Wilmont GRAHAM (Twisty) Service Number 330672. Marine Section RNZAF. He passed on the 25th July 2022.

His family have passed on that he was extremely proud of having served in the RNZAF and in particular in the Marine Section with a tour at Laucala Bay, Fiji being a highlight of his time in the service.

Keitou kalawaca na wasaliwa



5 Squadron Association

Exercise Rimpac 2022   

A major international exercise involving more than two dozen nations and thousands of personnel has finished, with Group Captain Pete Gibson playing a key role in the United States based event.        

26 AUGUST, 2022

Royal New Zealand Air Force's Group Captain (GPCAPT) Pete Gibson was the deputy commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 172 for this year’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. The CTF alone comprised of 18 maritime patrol aircraft and about 800 personnel. 

Within the task force, American, Australian, British, Canadian, Indian, Japanese, Korean and New  Zealand participants worked together to conduct maritime air patrols. RIMPAC is a multinational maritime exercise that takes place in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. 

This year, 26 nations, 38 surface ships, three submarines, nine national land forces, more than 170 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel participated in the exercise. 

"Strategic success is getting 26 nations on the island. It doesn’t matter if it’s one person or 10 aircraft the fact is you’ve got a flag here from that nation. Having eight nations as a part of CTF 172 here working together is just success full stop. 

"There are so many different nations and their aircraft have different capabilities. Everyone has a slightly different way of doing things. But the fact that you can have an Australian aircraft being relieved by a Korean aircraft, being relieved by a US aircraft it all works just seamlessly. That’s the real goal here and that’s what RIMPAC’s all about. If we have to go out and do this in the real world we’ve worked with these nations before, so we understand each other." 

The plan is for the Air  Force to return to RIMPAC in 2024 with a P-8A Poseidon. The exercise will be an important part of the transition plan for the aircraft, building on basic search and rescue capability to practise more advanced warfighting, GPCAPT Gibson said.  "Exercises such as RIMPAC will provide unique training opportunities for the P-8A crew. It’s an environment where crews can test themselves against ships and submarines and working in a big organisation with lots of other aircraft and complex airspace."This year there were more than 165 NZDF personnel participating in RIMPAC performing range of different roles, at sea and ashore, from all three Services. That included HMNZS Aotearoa at sea, a team from HMNZS Matataua – the Naval Littoral Warfare specialists in Southern California, Royal New  Zealand Air  Force personnel embedded in the Combined Air Operations Centre and the NZ Army Joint Fires Team that worked alongside the United States Marine Corps."Having individuals as augmentees embedded in the organisation, performing a range of roles across a number of trades and getting experience they never would have had, is important to developing partner interoperability," GPCAPT Gibson said."New  Zealand is well regarded in RIMPAC and they know we’ve got people who can do this job well, that’s really important and it sets us up for the future."



17 Aug 2022

The first of our four P-8A Poseidon aircraft took to the skies in the United States today, completing a test flight ahead of systems fit out.

This aircraft will be delivered to Aotearoa New Zealand later this year.


A salute to air ordnance

As the Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion fleet retires to make way for the P-8A Poseidons, No. 5 Squadron’s air ordnance specialist trade will also come to an end. We take a look at the trade and its contribution over the past 56 years.

04 AUGUST, 2022

The full Orion crew consists of 12 aircrew, one of which is an air ordnance specialist.

The trade also serves as a feeder to the air warfare specialist and air warfare officer trades, providing experienced aircrew who also hold wider Defence Force experience to those direct entrance groups, air ordnance specialist leader Warrant Officer (W/O) Aaron Grocott said.

While the name ordnance might infer a specialised knowledge of weaponry, that is not the only thing involved in the role, with specialists knowledge ranging from weapons to catering to medical protocols.

A major responsibility for the specialists is working with the kill store system. The P-3K2 Orion is capable of dropping bombs and torpedoes. The team are the aircrew specialists in the management and problem solving of these systems from the time they are loaded to the time the stores are dropped or returned to our armament techs, W/O Grocott said.

“The kill store system is also used to drop life rafts to survivors in the ocean. All of these and other outputs have procedures that require specific contributions from air ordnance specialists. They are also the only aircrew qualified to load, unload and check life rafts connected to the kill store system, a crucial skill for no-notice search and rescue callouts.”

 29 Jul 2022


4th June 2022

GDay neighbours.

This week we welcomed a Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon to Base Ohakea on a routine training flight in order to qualify aircrew in international operations.

Spotting P-8A Poseidon aircraft at Base Ohakea is something the public will get used to when our fleet starts arriving at the end of the year.


28 May 2022

Raising the roof

A 500-tonne roof has been lifted into place 33 metres above the ground at Base Ohakea, a very visual sign of progress being made on the $250 million infrastructure build to support the P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

Facebook  Apr 2022 


Facebook 6 Apr 22

23 March 2022 Operation Rai Balang

March 2022 P-8A milestone


Tonga Response Update 19 Jan 2022

NZDF ship, aircraft help ensure Pacific fishing rules are followed

The Royal New Zealand Navy’s HMNZS Wellington and a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion aircraft have identified several vessels of interest during a maritime resource border protection operation currently underway in the Pacific.

23 NOVEMBER, 2021

The patrols are being coordinated with the nations of Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu, with the areas for survey also being covered by aerial surveillance involving the HMNZS Wellington’s embarked Seasprite helicopter from No. 6 Squadron, and the Orion from No. 5 Squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

Facebook 23 Oct 20

NZ Defence Force 15 June 2020

Putting in the hours overseas.

Putting in the hours overseas. In February 2020 our first 5SQN crew went to Florida to train on the P-8 with the U.S. Navy Squadron VP-30. This group will be our instructors when the P-8As start to arrive at Ohakea in late 2022. Based in Jacksonville, Florida, the first six months of the training is qualifying to fly the P-8, they will then take an instructor’s course before instructing with the U.S. Navy.

On 27 May our exchange pilots (SQNLDRs Ben Woodhouse and Byron Wagstaff) took to the skies above Jacksonville, Florida, at the controls of a P-8A for the first time. This flight marks the point that all eight exchange personnel have flown on P-8A during transition course with the USN squadron, VP-30

Air Force News July 2020

   Front row seats. Aircrew in an Orion undertake maritime surveillance in the Middle East region.

5 Squadron RNZAF Association Trophy Recipients

The award includes a printed copy of the citation and an inscribed plaque to be retained by the recipient. 

New Launch: 5 Squadron Association Job-Seeker Assist
As a consequence of the COVID-Damage to the aviation industry, a number of our ex-Squadron colleagues are out of work or facing job cuts as industry back up funds run out.  The Association wants to use our network to help find those who are affected new employment.  We’re not sure how well this will work, but lets kick it off and see how it goes.
If you:

  1. Are looking for work yourself – please send your CV and covering letter, into info@5sqnassn.org.nz.  Please make sure your name is in the email title and all attached files.
  2. Know of a job – please also email to info@5sqnassn.org.nz with the job, and a reference of who our person should contact. 
  3. Able to offer help or mentoring for a job seeker, or know of other someone who could help – please also email into the above address.
If you know of a ex-Squadron member who is not enrolled in the association, but could help or needs help – please get them involved too.
I’m not sure who well this will work. Success will depend on people pitching in to work together.

Five Power Defence Agreement Book – Assistance Request
CO 5 has passed on the request below. If you do have a story you would like to share, please send it in to info@5sqnassn.org.nz.  Our thinking is that we will collate these stories for the Author, and also keep them for a ‘P3-Final Chapter’ book that is being mooted at present. 
CO 5 Email follows:                                      
From: Donaldson Glen, WGCDR <GLEN.DONALDSON@NZDF.mil.nz>
Subject: RFI for FPDA History (Unclassified.)
Morning Gents,
 I’ve just been contacted by Nicole Halliday at DPA and she is after some stories from our FPDA interaction over the years. She is chasing the info for an Australian historian who is putting together a 50th anniversary FPDA book – see below.
Australian Historian Mr Keith Hockton has been contracted by HQIADS to write the 50th Anniversary of the Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) book.
He wants it to be more than just a boring timeline of yearbook photos etc, and is after people with great FPDA stories.
Now I know you can spin a good yarn, and you’ve probably got more than a handful of stories (some possibly not quite suitable for this publication) about a stint on Bersama Lima, Bersama Shield, Suman Warrior or Suman Protector.
Would you let me know if you can contribute?  Or do you know someone in your wider team who could add to it?  
Wondering if you can put it out to the members of the Association and see if any have a great yarn they’d like to share. If so they can push it back through me and ensure it has the year and EX the story is from, including their details should the author want to follow up further.

WGCDR Glen Donaldson
Commanding Officer,
5 Squadron
Royal New Zealand Air Force
Thank you all. We look forward to hearing from you.
Keitou Kalawaca Na Wasaliwa
Logan Cudby
5 Squadron Association






The first use of air power was to observe the battlefield from the air; the advantage of height allowing more to be seen than is possible from the ground


Details of the unfolding battle was reported to commanders, enhancing their situational awareness and informing their decisions. until 1911, this role was usually performed using manned balloons but in October of that year the first reconnaissance flight using powered aircraft was undertaken by the Italians during the Italo-Turkish War in Libya. Later, during WWI, scouting aircraft were regularly reconnoitring the battlefronts of Europe. Reconnaissance, and its companions surveillance and intelligence, remain fundamental to air power, and to the conduct of warfare itself. Collectively, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) has far wider applicability than just on the battlefield and is central to a country’s ability to understand what is happening within its borders, and outlying maritime region. ISR aircraft are routinely deployed into international waters to monitor sea lines of communication, more commonly referred to as sea lanes, in order to ensure that international trade is not impeded by pirates or arbitrary actions 
of other nations. In the same manner, sea lanes and maritime areas are monitored for illegal activities, to ensure international sanctions are upheld, or to support government agencies. For example, No 5 Squadron RNZAF has recently conducted surveillance missions in New Zealand waters, and around the world, for the following purposes: • Identify illegal fishing activities in the Ross Sea. • Monitor uN sanctions against North Korea. • Carrying out a census of southern right whales in New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands. • Cyclone and earthquake damage reconnaissance. • Identify acts of piracy, and people and drug trafficking in the Middle East. • Various search and rescue missions in the Pacific.

When required, other Air Force squadrons also undertake surveillance and reconnaissance missions such as a No. 40 Squadron C-130 aircraft dispatched to look at forest fires on the Chatham Islands, a No. 3 Squadron NH90 helicopter conducting aerial patrols of Fiordland, and a No. 42 Squadron B200 King Air aircraft deployed to assess cyclone damage in the Pacific. But, what do we mean by the terms Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance? First we will start with surveillance, which is the systematic observation of air, surface or subsurface areas, and places, by visual, aural, electronic, photographic, or other means. Simply put, surveillance is a wide-area search carried out over a long period of time and is about monitoring and collecting information about an area of observation, and looking for abnormalities and potential threats within that area. In terms of New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), airborne surveillance is carried out regularly and will continue well into the future. 
However, we may see aircraft based surveillance of the EEZ being supplemented with Earth observation satellites. Reconnaissance is slightly different. It is a specific mission undertaken to obtain, by visual observation or other detection methods, information about the activities and resources of an adversary, or potential adversary, or to secure geographical data about a particular area. While surveillance may detect something amiss in an area, reconnaissance is about understanding what is going on. Further, in terms of disaster relief, reconnaissance is vital to understand the effects of a cyclone, earthquake, or tsunami. From the information gained, appropriate support can be provided to the communities requiring assistance. Intelligence is the product resulting from the processing of information gained during surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It provides national leadership, or military commanders, an understanding of what is happening in an area of concern, including supporting 
details such as weather, cultural, and geographical aspects relevant to the situation. The strategic role of ISR is to enable decision superiority by providing key pieces of data, information, and intelligence that assists the Air Force, NZDF, and New Zealand Government in achieving its objectives. ISR’s tactical role is to provide battlespace awareness, and information superiority, and therefore, decision superiority to military commanders. Basically, ISR involves getting the right information to the right people, in the right format, at the right time. By providing the best possible intelligence to the military commander, they can plan and make the best operational decisions. Air and satellite based ISR is used to achieve an early awareness of potential crisis points and enhance the quality of political and highlevel military understanding that leads to informed decision-making.














Photos of the Laucala Bay Monument Event 2018

Note the symbolism that the artist, Shane Bower from Savusavu, has created with the wings of a giant seabird (albatross) mounted above the representative fuselage - the lower half of which is a Sunderland wing float. more



Middle East Surveillence


If you have not obtained your copy of "KIWI ORIONS'please contact Vern Reynolds jreynolds@xtra.co.nz before the stock runs out! It is a timeless record of a great era. $34 NZ plus P&P as listed below.  Order Form




75th Anniversary 1941-2016

MOTAT and Whenuapai events photo collection



A Blast From the Past

Here is a series of links kindly provided by Robin Klitscher. These links are pieces written by Robin K which will be of interest to members, particularly the web-footers.

Recently digitised footage of Laucala bay

Sunderland Veterans Rolling Back The years


Facebook Slideshow  

With thanks from Wings Over New Zealand

Retired RAAF Orion

Register as an association member

 All past and present 5 Squadron Personnel are eligible and are warmly encouraged to register. It's free, no subs and no annual renewal required. Current members will automatically be put onto the registered members list so, for many, it’s even easier. Benefits include fellowship, mailouts of ‘Air Force News’ and occasional squadron support activities. Contact Vern Reynolds jreynolds@xtra.co.nz

The information held is only to enable us to keep in contact with you. We do not give any details to anyone without your say so, but if you do not wish to give us some items that is OK.