UN Peacekeeping

It’s ‘the perfect example of three-party logistics’ – the relationship between Vincent Aviation, the New Zealand Defence Force and Exel New Zealand.

Our Achievements

In 2000 Vincent Aviation won a contract to provide air capability to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) based in Suai and Timor Lesté (previously East Timor). This was in response to a request from Exel New Zealand Ltd.

Another day at the office: Operational roles in military support often require aircraft able to withstand rough airstrips and high temperatures.

An operations base was established in Darwin in September 2000 to support the contract, and service began with a Reims Cessna F406 aircraft.

The time between the contract being confirmed and the first flight, was only six weeks. This left little time to train pilots, install approach certified GPS systems in the aircraft, certify the Suai military airfield for civil operations, organise maintenance facilities etc.

After a request from the NZDF the service expanded to use a larger 19-passenger Beechcraft 1900C in September 2001. Throughout the term of the contract the on-time and completion record was better than 99%.

Vincent Aviation extended its clientele to include not only other governments (including Singapore, Japan and Ireland) with troops based in Timor Lesté, but also other companies doing business in Timor Lesté, between Darwin and Timor Lesté and neighbouring regions.

While in Timor Lesté the Vincent Aviation personnel witnessed the discomfort of troops living in intense heat away from home for long periods. As Peter Vincent recalls “we felt extremely sorry for them and were keen to try and make their isolation and hardships seem a little less daunting.”

Vincent Aviation was true to its word, carrying equipment, papers and rations whenever possible. However, it was Christmas that Peter recalls most readily. “I think if you ever spoke to a Kiwi peacekeeper, no matter where they were during that period, and mentioned Vincent Aviation, the thing that they remember is us delivering them 900 pizza’s as a Christmas gift.”