New NZ Choppers take to the Skies in Exercise:
The Defence Force's newest choppers will be soaring through the skies above the Waiouru Military Camp this week ahead of a major training exercise later in the year.
The helicopter transition unit (HTU), based at the Ohakea Air Force Base, will spend this week at Waiouru with three NH90s and two A109s helicopters to train with soldiers from Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles regiment.
The training will help prepare the helicopters for the Southern Katipo exercise being held in South Canterbury in November.
About 1000 army, navy and air force personnel will take part in the large-scale exercise, which will run over several
Click here for NZ NH90s video: Video of NH 90s
It was the first time such training had been undertaken with the helicopters.
''[We're here] to test out and train for our ability to deploy, away from our home base of Ohakea.
''The aim is to maintain and operate helicopters from an austere environment without the luxury of hangars and the day-to-day help we get.
This will help us build up procedures so we can deploy the aircraft within New Zealand and overseas.''
The unit was practising flying techniques, including low flying, troop carrying and drop-off and pickup techniques in complex terrain.
The NH90 was ''quite different'' from the Iroquois in what could be done with them, as it was able to deploy in more situations, cope with harsher environments and combat high-tech opposition, he said.
(Photos off net, News item Manawatu Standard)