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Manawatu Man Supports NZDFs Mission in Solomon Islands

22 May 2019

Military service runs deep in the family of Squadron Leader Michael Adair, a third-generation pilot of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

His grandfather, Squadron Leader Russel Mathieson, flew Hurricane, Spitfire and Typhoon fighter aircraft during the Second World War.

His father, Squadron Leader Keith Adair, flew Sioux and Iroquois helicopters for No.3 Squadron in the 1980s.

“The Air Force is in my blood. I never imagined not joining,” Squadron Leader Adair, a pilot with No.3 Squadron, said.

“For our family, a military career is about serving a greater purpose – serving our country.”

Squadron Leader Adair, who lives in Manawatu, returned recently from Solomon Islands, where he was part of a 55-member New Zealand Defence Force contingent that helped transport election officials and voting material to remote communities for the South Pacific country’s general election.

As Rotary Wing Detachment Commander, he supervised the operations of the two RNZAF NH90 helicopters that formed part of an Australian Defence Force-led Combined Task Group.

With 1200 polling stations spread across six large islands and a number of the 900 smaller islands that comprise Solomon Islands, helicopter support was critical, Squadron Leader Adair said.

“It was a very successful mission. Together with our Australian partners, we transported 1,200 passengers and 39 tonnes of cargo and travelled more than 104,000 kilometres.”

Born in Singapore when his father was posted there, Squadron Leader Adair enlisted in the RNZAF in 2007.

Among his most memorable deployments was being sent to Samoa in 2009, to help provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief after an earthquake.

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