Recruits prepared for proud career
For Blenheim man Scott Hutchison, training as a crash rescue firefighter for the Royal New Zealand Air Force was the next step after fighting fires in Blenheim.
Mr Hutchison 20, was one of 41 recruits who graduated on Friday from the Command and Recruit Training Squadron at Base Woodbourne after a 13-week training course.
After working as a Blenheim volunteer firefighter for two years, Mr Hutchison decided to join the air force.
"I knew a couple of guys who had joined and it sounded like a cool career," he said.
"I wanted to make myself and my parents proud."
The most challenging aspect of the course was the sleep deprivation during a week-long training exercise at Dip Flat, near St Arnaud.
"It was 21 hours on and seven off," he said.
"It was all about testing you."
After signing up to the air force for 15 years, he hopes to do at least that in his chosen profession.
In May he will leave Base Woodbourne and train for three months at Linton Military Camp, south of Palmerston North.
The graduation parade was the third and final parade at Base Woodbourne for 2012.
Graduates from all over New Zealand marched in front of reviewing officer Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman.
Dr Coleman commended the 41 graduates on completing a physically and mentally challenging 13 weeks.
"The work you do is very, very important for how New Zealand is perceived by the rest of the world," Dr Coleman said
The course provided recruits with training for life in the air force, including discipline and teamwork training, general service knowledge and military skills.
The Marlborough Express