In January 1993 three RNZAF Andover transport aircraft and their crews from No. 42 Squadron were deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia. During the 1990s, the RNZAF was deployed to several war-torn regions of the world as peacekeepers and sources of humanitarian relief, a role they still fulfil today.
Torn apart by civil war between local warlords and with no true government, Somalia was an anarchic state. With widespread famine also affecting the country, the 62 strong RNZAF contingent formed part of the multi-national effort to protect food aid convoys from the warlords’ forces. They shared the camp and airfield facilities with American and Australian personnel and aircraft.
In their hot and dusty camp next to Mogadishu Airport, the Kiwis were operational within a day of arrival. During their five-month deployment, 233 missions were flown, transporting personnel in and out, carrying supplies and dropping two million leaflets warning the Somali warlords not to attack relief convoys.
The RNZAF personnel and their American and Australian colleagues left in May 1993, having made a valuable contribution to humanitarian relief in one of the most hostile and dangerous regions of the world.
Read more about this deployment in February’s issue of Air Force News, available at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand or online at http://bit.ly/2mLb1aO.
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