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Just the Job – Air Force Officer

Clinton: You’re watching Just the Job, New
Zealand’s careers programme that has showcased hundreds of careers to date. Let’s join
Allen now as she finds out how her career could take off with the Royal New Zealand
Air Force. Allen: Kia ora, I’m 17 years old and I go
to Kelston Girls College and I’m here today at the Whenuapai Office to learn how to become
an officer in the Air Force. Clinton: Today Flight Lieutenant Blair Walmsley
from 5 Squadron will be taking Allen under his wing. Blair: Morning Allen. Allen: Morning! Blair: I’m Blair, welcome to Whenuapai Air
Force Base. Allen: Thanks for having me. Blair: So you’re ready for an action-packed
day? Allen: Yep, excited! Blair: Great, alrighty I think the first thing
we need to do is get you some flying overalls so you look the part… Allen: Ok. Blair: Lets go to the clothing store. Allen: Sweet. Blair: So an Air Warfare Officer on board
the P3K2 Orion is specifically a tactical coordinator which means I am responsible for
the technical direction and coordination of the aircraft in order to achieve mission outcomes. Clinton: Before Blair and Allen take flight
… it’s a trip to the Base Pool for a crash course in Sea Survival training. Blair: So here we have couple of the key pieces
of survival equipment that we carry on the air craft – we have the Mae West life preserver… Clinton: If Mae West means vest then check
out the QDES – it’s the Quick Don Emergency Suit, and one size fits all. Blair: …just pull it up…so… Blair: …slowly work your way up… Blair: …not doing too bad so far… Allen: I’m already sweating! Blair: Yeah! Clinton: The high viz suit is designed to
keep an Airman dry and warm in freezing water should they crash at sea. Sound of Blair’s muffled voice speaking
to Allen. Sound of Blair and Allen jumping into water. Clinton: The aircraft also carry life rafts
giving good protection from the elements for survivors. Blair: Ok Allen so at the moment we’re here
at two thirty squadron. This one of the training facilities that we have at our disposal to
practice our standard operating procedures and processes that will carry out airborne
but in the safety of a ground environment. Blair: Simulators are very important for training.
Essentially it allows us to practice procedures or actions in a relatively realistic environment
but without the dangers of doing it airborne. Blair: Have a seat Allen… Blair: …this is Squadron Leader Marcus Hogan… Allen: Hello. Blair: …one of the pilots from five squadron… Marcus: Hi Allen, how’re ya going? Allen: Good! Blair: …he’ll be taking us through a flight. Marcus: The Air Warfare Officer is primarily
on hand to – two roles in the P3 – both as the tactical coordinator and the information
manager and both of those have various responsibilities but the one that probably mostly directly
supports the pilots would be in some navigation assistance and fuel planning – those types
of things. Clinton: And in the safe environment of the
simulator, Allen gets a hands on opportunity to land the P3 Orion. Marcus: Just turn it a little bit left, and
as you turn you’re just going to need to pull back a little bit as well… Marcus: A little bit of gear, just roll out
there… Marcus: …that’s the way… Marcus: …and the runway is just over to
the right so you just need to come a bit further to the right… Marcus: That’s good, that’s good, and
what you want to do is start your flare now… Marcus: …so pull back… Marcus: …not too much! Allen and Marcus laugh. Marcus: It’s all good! Marcus: And just let it settle down and that’s
probably a little bit of a hard landing but that’s why we’re in the simulator. Cool. Allen: Did we just crash? Marcus: Nah, nah, you’re alright. Clinton: An important part of being an Information
Manager is Mission Planning. Blair: So yesterday afternoon, joint forces
New Zealand sent though a task message to us here at five squadron tasking us to head
out this afternoon to head out to the bay of Plenty and conduct a patrol of that area. Clinton: Blair first plots the flight path
with Vision Navigation charts … using the computer or Paper charts. Pilots have Air
Highways … kind of like road maps for planes. Blair: So for today’s route we’ll go from
Whenuapai Air Force base along the Hotel one, eight, two… Clinton: One more important calculation … Blair
needs to work out the minimum amount fuel needed to safely return to base. Blair: The sort of person who’s going to
be interested in becoming an Air warfare Officer is someone who’s interested in maths and
physics, someone who likes to work in a team and enjoys communicating with people. This
is really critical part of what we do. Officer: Right, good morning all… Clinton: Allen’s communication skills are
put to the test at the pre-flight briefing. Allen: Ok, so today we’ll be operating in
the Bay of Plenty area. The area safe-height is 8000ft. The only conflicting air space
is the volcanic area around White Island…round here…and bingo is 10,500 pounds, and it’ll
be 10,000 feet return up to 170 nautical miles from Whenuapai. Clinton: Briefing completed, the crew are
ready to deploy. Clinton: Thirty minutes into the flight and
the P3 Orion is over the Target Area. Pilots communicating. Clinton: A potential target has appeared on
the radar. Pilots communicating. Clinton: Information Manager Allen confirms
the target can only be a vessel. Allen communicating to pilot. Pilot responding. Clinton: MSA is the Minimum Safe Altitude
the Pilot can fly… Clinton: …meanwhile OPTICS have a Visual
on the target. Officers communicating. Clinton: Blair confirms that the vessel is
a registered Fishing Boat. Officers communicating. Clinton: Mission complete – so how did Allen
go? Blair: Allen displays potential and it’s
certainly what we’re looking for at this stage. She demonstrated those key attributes
we’re looking for – confidence and intelligence, both in the mission planning and preparation,
particularly during the crew brief and inflight providing all the key pieces that are required
for us to conduct our mission. Allen: Would I do the job? Yeah definitely,
if they gave me a job, I’d come back! Clinton: You need to be at least 17 years
old and physically fit. Applicants need to have NCEA Level 2 with a minimum of 18 credits
each in English, Maths and a Science. You must pass the Officer Selection Board. Training
is on the job including up to 120 hours flying in your first year.

Tony wyaad