Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules Arrived in United Kingdom to Support Ukraine
Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules Arrived in United Kingdom to Support Ukraine

Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules Arrived in United Kingdom to Support Ukraine

Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft and crew have arrived in the United Kingdom ready to soon begin transporting donated military aid between centers in Europe. The majority of the approximately 50-strong Air detachment will deploy independently to a base in the United Kingdom in advance of the aircraft’s arrival, to start the preparations for the movement of donated military aid destined for Ukraine. Among this group are alternative flying crew, maintenance technicians, and two air load teams which will manage cargo loads for the aircraft. The two air load teams will also be able to assist with cargo movements on partner military aircraft.

Once based in the United Kingdom, the Hercules will begin flying between third countries in Europe, picking up donated military aid and transporting the cargo to destinations from where the stores can be taken by land into Ukraine. The movement of donated military aid around Europe is being coordinated by an international coordination centre in Stuttgart, Germany. The New Zealand Defence Force is deploying a group of eight personnel, including New Zealand Army logistics personnel and RNZAF air liaison and air movements personnel, to work as part of the international team coordinating the logistics for donations, matching transport to aid consignments.

Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules Arrived in United Kingdom to Support Ukraine

NZDF personnel will not be entering Ukraine. A three-person advance party is currently in the United Kingdom, where they are facilitating the arrival of the aircraft and assimilation of personnel into the Stuttgart coordination centre, before themselves travelling to Stuttgart later this week. The deployment of the Hercules, air transportation and logistics personnel is in addition to the deployment of NZDF intelligence staff to the United Kingdom. As well, an officer is also being deployed to the UK Permanent Joint Headquarters, and a liaison officer will be working at a NATO headquarters in Belgium.

The NZDF’s open source intelligence capability is being utilised to take advantage of time zone differences between New Zealand and the United Kingdom. A consignment of helmets, body armour, radios and other equipment was flown by military aircraft to Europe and delivered to Ukraine. This was a significant contribution by the New Zealand Defence Force as part of New Zealand’s efforts to support Ukraine’s self-defence. The Squadron was excited to be sending a C-130 Hercules and detachment to support air transport operations in Europe. The deployment of the Hercules and RNZAF detachment is for up to 60 days, while the logistics team has been deployed for up to 90 days.