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Located 22km West of Palmerston North, RNZAF Base Ohakea is one of the three Air Force bases. Ohakea opened in September 1939 as one of two bases for the Wellington bomber aircraft on order for the RNZAF.

During World War II, Ohakea was the Air Force's main training base for aircrew undergoing operational conversion on fighters, observers/navigators for medium bombers and air gunners. After World War II, Nos 14, 42 and 75 Squadrons were reformed at Ohakea, and the Repair Depot relocated from Hamilton.

Following WWII Ohakea became the RNZAF's Strike base with Nos 14 and 75 Squadrons resident. A long time resident, No.42 Squadron was relocated to Whenuapai in 1984 to allow the reformation of No.2 Squadron to Nowra (NSW Australia) in 1991. The strike force was disbanded in 2001.

In 1993 RNZAF flying training previously carried out at Wigram by the Pilot Training Squadron and the RNZAF's Central Flying School was moved to Ohakea. 3 Squadron, which currently operates the Iroquois and Sioux helicopters, moved to Ohakea in January 2002.

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