NATION

Fijians’ Cheerful Attitude And Gratitude Impresses Sgt Wooller

Helicopter loadmaster Sergeant (SGT) Lyle Wooller, who is one of around 400 personnel currently involved in the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) humanitarian aid here, said the Fijians’ cheerful outlook
10 Apr 2016 10:12
Fijians’ Cheerful  Attitude And Gratitude Impresses Sgt Wooller
Helicopter Loadmaster, SGT Lyle Wooller looks over the landing zone from a RNZAF NH90 Helicopter lands as it comes in to land to deliver personnel and aid. The NZDF has deployed to Fiji to provide Humanitarian Aid and Distaster Relief following Tropical Cyclone Winston.

Helicopter loadmaster Sergeant (SGT) Lyle Wooller, who is one of around 400 personnel currently involved in the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) humanitarian aid here, said the Fijians’ cheerful outlook and sense of gratitude have impressed him the most.

“The most rewarding part of this deployment is seeing the Fijians smile when we drop in to hand out aid. The locals are awesome; they are all very keen to help and really appreciative of any help they receive,” said SGT Wooller, who hails from Morrinsville, a town 33 km east of Hamilton.

“Everywhere we go to deliver aid supplies, people come out to shake hands with us and wave us goodbye. In one of the highland villages on the main island of Viti Levu, residents formed a beeline to shake hands with the entire crew.”

Encouraged by his father, a former member of the New Zealand Army, SGT Wooller joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 2004, six months into his undergraduate course at Waikato University.

The NZDF aid operation here marks the first time SGT Wooller is deployed on an overseas mission. As Helicopter loadmaster, his job is to ensure aircraft loads are packed correctly to maintain balance.

“Normal precautions with landing sites are taken, just like back home. There is debris, damaged buildings, knocked down power lines and animals to contend with here so beach landings are a good option in most areas,” he said.

“We also have to keep an eye out while on the ground. Children especially seem to just appear out of nowhere.”

Two RNZAF NH90 medium utility helicopters are assisting in our nation’s disaster recovery efforts on their first overseas mission.

 

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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