RNZAF’s SH-2G (I) in OPV mission
A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) SH-2G (I) Seasprite helicopter has joined the Royal New Zealand Navy’s HMNZS Otago offshore patrol vessel (OPV) on a resupply mission to the Kermadec Islands.
The helicopter's first operational mission with an OPV will run from 12 September to 23 September. The helicopter will first drop off a Department of Conservation (DoC) representative and two dogs trained to detect rats and other pests on Macauley Island.
Otago’s next stop will be Raoul Island, to resupply the DoC outpost. Around seven tonnes of goods, including a light utility vehicle, general equipment and food supplies will be flown to the island in underslung loads. Personnel will also be transported to the island.
The helicopter is one of eight SH-2G (I) Seasprites that are being introduced into service this year.
Captain Dave McEwan, the Acting Maritime Component Commander, said: 'Although the newer-model Seasprite was deployed on a frigate for a multilateral exercise in June, their deployment on an OPV is a major step forward in increasing the NZDF’s ability to support other government agencies in New Zealand and in the Pacific region. This also marks a major milestone in the modernisation of the navy’s fleet.'
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