Nelson’s Caleb Mansbridge has his dream job in his sights again after joining the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and following his passion for engineering.

Aircraftman Mansbridge, 20, has just graduated from his recruit course and is now heading to trade training to become an Aircraft Mechanic.

“Aircraft engineering was always a career I wanted to pursue. The Air Force provides the best training in this trade and offers so many opportunities,” he said.

He is no stranger to the field. On leaving school he studied aeronautical engineering and worked as a contractor at Air New Zealand in Nelson until last year’s Level 4 lockdown.

“I thought my career in aviation was done because of the state of the industry due to Covid-19,” he said.

But with the options offered by the RNZAF, Aircraftman Mansbridge is now looking forward to moving onto his trade training, developing skills and studying hard.

“Even though I have experience in this line of work, I expect to learn heaps and improve my skills further to become an asset to our Defence Force.”

He wanted to keep improving and learning, whether that was as an aircraft technician or other trades in the RNZAF.

“One of my new aspirations, after listening to our instructors, is to come back to Base Woodbourne and do some time as an instructor on future recruit courses.

“It seems to be a really fulfilling job, both training up and developing people to be the future of the Air Force,” he said.

He hoped his career with the RNZAF would be filled with exciting stories, life-long friends and experiences.

“Career-wise, in 20 years I hope to still be on the tools, maybe even leading a maintenance team in a senior ranked position.”

Aircraftman Mansbridge said anyone looking to join the NZDF should be persistent.

“Selection can be tough and can take a while, but keep improving your personal skills and your fitness as much as you can.”

To learn more about a career in the Air Force visit www.defencecareers.mil.nz(external link).

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