Area Support Officer
Bay of Plenty

Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Heidi Paington

Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Heidi Paington was commissioned into No. 75 (Arawa) Squadron, Air Training Corps in Rotorua, on 1 Jan 1999, having formerly been a cadet in the 1980’s, with No. 29 (Rotorua) Squadron, Air Training Corps, No. 75 (Arawa) Sqn and No. 16 (Tauranga) Squadron, Air Training Corps.

In October 2008 SQNLDR Paignton transferred Corps to the Sea Cadet Unit in Tauranga, TS Chatham, and enjoyed the new challenges this bought her, learning new skills and being kicked out of her comfort zone.

SQNLDR Paignton has had the pleasure of staffing many courses over the years, including JNCO, SNCO, Advanced Leaders, Air Force Experience, See Navy, Skill at Arms, National Aviation, Commissioning, ITTM and Command Courses. She has taken cadets on the IACE Exchange Programme to the US in 2005, NZ Canadian Friendship Exchange in 2006, 2010 and 2014. SQNLDR Paignton has also hosted a Sea Cadet Unit from Canada and continues to participate in the NZ Canadian Friendship Exchange. SQNLDR Paignton hosted IACE through New Zealand in 2015.

On 20 May 2013, SQNLDR Paignton transferred back to take command of No. 75 (Arawa) Squadron. In 2016 she was appointed as the S35-A, to look after the international Air Cadet overseas exchanges. She was appointed to her current ASO roll in March 2020.

SQNLDR Paignton’s working life involves working with offenders in the Community as a Probation Officer which she has been doing since 2006.