Damla takes to the skies

By Damla Temizsoy
Year 13

Over the Term 2 holidays, I was fortunate enough to attend the School to Skies camp at Base Auckland, offered by the New Zealand Air Force.

Walking into the camp, I was terrified that I, someone who had no interest in joining the Air Force, was going to an Air Force camp! However after the icebreakers, I made fast friends with my group – amazing students who were like minded people, with similar goals to me.

Through the five days, we rotated through different trades (industries or areas in the Air Force), including comms, aircraft mechanics, avionics, and pilots. We got to see and experience what they did in their daily work lives. By actually doing the jobs they do (for example welding or fixing the landing gear of a T-6C Texan II training aircraft – pictured right), we each got to understand what we enjoyed and what we didn’t enjoy.

We lived on Base in the barracks, which also gave us a better understanding of what life would look like being in the Air Force. We were also told  about our option of studying while in the military, which I found was a great option to have. 

I loved having hands-on experience, from fixing a landing gear, to changing parts on an aircraft engine, to flying the Hercules (C-130) simulator. It was really fun and a great learning experience. I went into the camp, not having any expectations, but came out with a lot of great memories, as well as a better understanding of what military life looks like. It was definitely not what I expected, and while I decided that a military career right out of high school wasn’t for me, I saw areas that I enjoyed. I saw what I could potentially do, and now I have a Plan B if I can’t find what I am looking for at University.