Marlborough’s Alice Roughan is a step closer to realising her dream of becoming a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) dog handler after completing recruit training.

The 19-year-old from Blenheim has just graduated from the 14-week training course at RNZAF Base Woodbourne and is now embarking on the next part of her journey, learning her trade in the Air Force Security Forces.

“I chose to join as Security Forces as it’s an exciting and challenging trade that allows me to push myself,” she said.

“It also gives me the opportunity to follow my passion of becoming an RNZAF dog handler.”

Aircraftman Roughan enjoyed her time on recruit course. It was a mix of challenges and highlights, she said.

“The biggest challenge was the longest day exercise - it was a gruelling day that challenged us mentally and physically. 

“A highlight for me was weapons training, and the long-range shoot at the West Melton Rifle Range.

“Another highlight was the time we spent at Dip Flat (near St Arnaud), where we spent a week in the field protecting a forward operating base from enemy forces.”

Aircraftman Roughan’s interest in joining the RNZAF was sparked when she attended a Defence Careers Experience in 2019.

“I think it is a good career path as it offers a lot of options to challenge yourself, and is a fulfilling job,” she said.

She encouraged those wanting to join to look at attending a Defence Careers Experience or School to Skies to get a “good taste of what the Defence Force is like”.

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