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MANAWANUI AT SEA TAMAKI QUARANTINE REUNION ON THE ROCK
Contents 25 Changes coming for Reserve Forces
06 MANAWANUI goes to sea 11
28 “The Rock” reunion
Quarantine at Tamaki Leadership Centre
15 Polar-class lifeboats
32 Career transitions
20 Commodore Andrew Brown
33 Big Brothers
24 Like father, like son
“You can see the Ship’s Company’s confidence growing as we learn what this platform can do and how it handles at sea.” ~ CPOCSS Lee Frankham, Whole Ship’s Coordinator, HMNZS MANAWANUI
06 Navy Today is the official magazine of the Royal New Zealand Navy. Established to inform, inspire and entertain serving and former members of the RNZN, their families, friends and the wider Navy Community. Published by: Defence Public Affairs HQ NZ Defence Force Wellington, New Zealand
Editor: Andrew Bonallack Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Design and Layout: Defence Public Affairs
Printed by: Bluestar Private Bag 39996, Wellington Distribution: Email: email@example.com
15 Contributions are welcomed, including stories, photographs and letters. Please submit stories and letters by email in Microsoft Word or the body of an email. Articles up to 500 words welcomed, longer if required by the subject. Please consult the editor about long articles. Digital photos submitted by email also welcomed, at least 500kb preferred. Stories published in Navy Today cannot be published elsewhere without permission. Copy deadline is the 15th of the month for the following issue. Subject to change. Views expressed in Navy Today are not necessarily those of the RNZN or the NZDF.
Cover: Aerial image of HMNZS MANAWANUI at sea in the Hauraki Gulf
Defence Careers: Phone: 0800 1FORCE (0800 136 723) www.defencecareers.mil.nz
Photographer: CPL Dillon Anderson
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ICER O F
E N AV Y
Warrant Officer of the Navy
During the senior leadership roadshow last year we heard how overall readiness improved during Operation Hiki Ano. However, what we did not measure was overall effectiveness. To be an effective sailor we need to stay fit, lead ourselves to make appropriate choices at work or ashore and to eat and drink responsibly. This also applies to our family readiness. Family readiness includes financial wellbeing and having a Will. In my tenure as the WON this has been one of my constant pushes. It is an unfortunate fact that during our service we will lose a shipmate. During my tenure as the WON, our Navy has lost five sailors, taken from us far too early. Most of them did not have a Will. STBD 30 Steer 090 – let’s talk money. Since 2015, the NZDF has made a considerable effort to help our sailors look after their financial wellbeing. Why? Because we know when the family finances are under stress and pressure, the stress and pressure levels on our sailors are adversely impacted. It is hard to be the best sailor you can be when you are worrying about financial burdens adding to the stresses of everyday life. At some stage in our lives, we all worry about money. Along with support services from the NCO, the Force Financial Hub is a way of providing useful tools our families can use. We are all at different stages of our life journey but it is never too late to set financial goals. Some of you will be saving for your first home, some for a family holiday overseas. Getting married or having children changes your financial situation. Now is as good a time as ever to get a Will and get details recorded on ESS.
Port 15 Steer 045 – As WON I am invited to attend presentations given by our sailors on development courses. Of the presentations I attended last year, one sticks in my mind. The presentation delivered by a Petty Officer was on how the Navy could better educate spouses and family members of the benefits available to them. This is where Force 4 Families comes to the fore. Like many of you, I am guilty of not informing those nearest and dearest to me what the Navy can do for them. There are changes to the Force for Families Discount card, which has been replaced by a web-based app. There are new opportunities constantly added. For example, late last year families could take advantage of a 50% discount on Open Polytechnic courses. If you have not already done so please get your family members to either get in contact with the NCO or visit www.nzdf.mil.nz/ families/default.htm Port 30 altering 315 – There are two other groups constantly supporting our family readiness. The Chaplains and the staff of our very own Te Taua Moana Marae are our unsung heroes. Despite not being part of their position description these heroes are on call and available 24/7 and always at Alert 1 to provide sanctuary, counselling, a helping hand or support in our times of need. How is your family readiness? WO Wayne Dyke
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CANTERBURY PREPARES FOR ENDURANCE
Above: A tug assists HMNZS CANTERBURY as she prepares to leave Devonport Naval Base. An NH90 helicopter manouevres to land on HMNZS CANTERBURY’s flight deck.
Operation Endurance, the New Zealand Defence Force’s support mission to the Sub-Antarctic Islands, occupied HMNZS CANTERBURY for most of March. The four-week mission, to Auckland Island and Campbell Island groups, follows on from CANTERBURY’s December mission to the Southern Ocean. As before, CANTERBURY supported the Department of Conservation’s work in studying the biological diversity of the islands, which are nature reserves and listed as World Heritage sites. In addition, MetService personnel visited both islands to repair and maintain automatic weather stations.
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The work meant personnel from both government agencies stayed up to five days in huts on the islands, while CANTERBURY remained offshore. As well as wildlife studies, the personnel carried out boardwalk, hut and wharf maintenance, and retrieved disused materials for transport back to CANTERBURY. The ship’s embarked Seasprite SH2-G(I) helicopter was vital for lifting heavy materials to and from the ship. Campbell Island, at 52.5 degrees latitude south, is 660 km south of Bluff. It rains for 290 days a year, with average temperatures ranging between 12 and 7 degrees. The Royal New Zealand Air Force took advantage of CANTERBURY being at sea for a week between Auckland and Bluff, dropping in with an NH90 helicopter to practice flight deck landings and lifting of underslung loads. The Navy Today editor was on the ground during Operation Endurance. Look out for more of CANTERBURY’s adventures in the Southern Ocean in April’s Navy Today.
Sailor rescues neighbour
Navy sailor hero in house fire y Suzi Phillips, B Senior Communications Advisor North
An elderly woman and the home of her family in Beach Haven were saved thanks to the fire-fighting skills and training gained by a Royal New Zealand Navy sailor, Leading Combat System Specialist Matt Hodgkinson. Last month, LCSS Hodgkinson, 27, went home briefly to change out of his work clothes, intending to support the Navy rugby team playing in a services competition at Ngataringa Bay. As he looked out his bedroom window, he saw smoke coming from the roof of his neighbour’s home across the road. “I had been home about five minutes and just changed out of my fire retardant GWDs into my PT gear when I saw smoke coming off the roof,” he says. “I ran across the road to their front door, knocked, called out and opened it and called out again, but there was thick smoke billowing out.” Another neighbour came over and LCSS Hodgkinson got him to call 111 to alert the fire service before returning to the front door. “I heard someone inside and an elderly woman was coming out, standing in the smoke, breathing it in, so she was
getting disorientated but I managed to get her out. She kept wanting to return to the house, but the neighbour looked after her. LCSS Hodgkinson went back around the rear of the house, climbing over a locked gate, and got the garden hose which he was able to direct at the hole in the roof and side of the house where a plastic extractor fan had melted. “I could see through the hole that the fire was going up into the roof, and at that point, another neighbour brought over their dry powder fire extinguisher, so I used that on the fire inside the house.” LCSS Hodgkinson also had the presence of mind to follow his training and isolate the source of the fire, turning off the house power for safety and then the gas to the stove. “It appears cooking on the gas stove had caught fire. The fire had gone up the kitchen wall and quickly into the roof space and roof.” The local fire service arrived and LCSS Hodgkinson was able to give them a handover, before they finished extinguishing the fire still smouldering in the roof space.
“The lady was taken by St John Ambulance to hospital and had a broken wrist, but has otherwise recovered from the smoke inhalation,” he says. LCSS Hodgkinson, who joined the Navy in 2011, says it was his Navy firefighting training with the Damage Control School that enabled him to act quickly in this emergency. “I’ve done fire-fighting skills at basic training and done the Team Leaders firefighter course in the past and the Scene Leader course last year. That helped with knowing what to do, from keeping low out of the smoke inside to operating the dry powder extinguisher,” he says. Matt, originally from Hawke’s Bay, has served in HMNZS CANTERBURY and HMNZS TE MANA in the past with deployments to Asia and on two Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises. He recently returned from completing the Petty Officer Above Water Tactical Course in the United Kingdom and is posted to the Combat System Trainer at the Marine Warfare Training Centre in Devonport Naval Base.
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FIRST TIME AT SEA FOR MANAWANUI y Andrew Bonallack B Editor
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MANAWANUI at Sea
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HMNZS MANAWANUI went to sea for the first time as a commissioned Navy vessel last month, with the first 24 hours setting the tone for a two-week stint of ‘ready for sea’ drills and evaluations. Under the scrutiny of the Maritime Operations Evaluation Team (MOET), the 53 members of the Ship’s Company tested person overboard drills and Emergency Stations procedures, ensuring everyone could be accounted for within the recognised Fleet Standard Time. The Fast Rescue Boat was launched, and ship’s communications were tested with shore headquarters.
Then, as Navy tradition dictates, the first ever set of formal ‘Alpha’ rounds were conducted, with the XO and team inspecting the ship for cleanliness and stowage. It’s also a good time to check on the crew morale, says Chief Petty Officer Combat System Specialist Lee Frankham, Whole Ship Co-ordinator.
Above: MANAWANUI’s Executive Officer, LT Payton Kaiwai, supervises an evolution.
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MANAWANUI at Sea
“It was an exciting first 24 hours at sea for all of us,” he says. “We were all chomping at the bit to get off the wharf and out to sea. It is a good feeling to be at sea in “your” Ship with no one to distract you. You can learn your job, learn your Ship, learn your crew and just enjoy being at sea again.” As well as testing and adjusting procedures, a lot of the two weeks is about settling into routines, including departmental meetings. MANAWANUI went to and from the inner Hauraki Gulf, giving all the Officers of the Watch a chance to practise driving MANAWANUI and berthing her without the aid of a tug. “You can see the Ship’s Company’s confidence growing as we learn what this platform can do and how it handles at sea,” says CPOCSS Frankham. It’s a very young Ship’s Company in the making, he says. “Only a handful of the crew were embarked for the delivery voyage from Norway. So we’re all very open to the guidance from MOET and we’re putting that to good use, as well as growing in experience and knowledge from these trials. It’s always good having that extra set of eyes to point out issues that we may have missed as we focus on other areas.”
Emergency procedures got a workout, with the Ship’s Damage Control teams tackling a ‘fire’ in the galley, followed by toxic gas and flood exercises and simulated equipment breakdowns. In the vicinity of Little Barrier Island, the propulsion system on all five thrusters was tested as the bridge team discovered the scope of the ship’s formidable manoeuvrability. The second week involved embedding in the .50 calibre machine guns and undertaking gunnery training near Great Barrier Island, followed by final training with MOET. He says the Ship’s Company certainly felt the pressure with the long days and working the weekend. “But nothing seems too much of a challenge for the Ship’s Company. They dig in and get the job done.” A short break in at Devonport, then the ship headed out again to put the hydrographic equipment through its paces. The ship will then undergo a docking period, visit her ceremonial home port (Gisborne) for Anzac Day and prepare for her voyage to Hawaii for the RIMPAC exercise in July and August. CPOCSS Frankham says one of the outcomes of the trials was an assessment of the right ‘mix’ of
trades and skills aboard. “We want to operate at the peak of our efficiency and this is realised at the end of the Sea Acceptance Trials. There may be a requirement to request more people of specific trades to ensure the right balance.” MANAWANUI is capable of taking 66 personnel. “It’s something that will constantly change as we swap persons out for different specialist teams, like HMNZS MATATAUA divers.” He is impressed with the ship’s stability. “For such a high ship it is very stable indeed. If you were inside the Ship and it left the wharf you would not know about it until you looked out of your window and saw “A” Buoy go silently gliding past.” Another aspect that struck him was the mixed dining hall. “No other RNZN Ship has this and it is a pleasant change to be able to sit down opposite the CO and next to the most junior sailor and have a good conversation about how your day is going and your plans for the weekend.” Clockwise: Morning briefing with Navigation Officer LT Samara Mankelow. SLT Danny Gerrand and LT Samara Mankelow on the bridge. OMT Lukas George doing rounds in the engine compartments.
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Left: ACH Skye Whittaker prepares dinner. Below: LTCDR Andy Mahoney (centre) has a briefing with his staff and MOET on the bridge before starting the day.
And his accommodation on the former Norwegian survey vessel is impressive. “I have a single en-suite cabin with a sea view and small fridge, a built-in stereo system and fitted TV with a DVD player. There’s a leather armchair and a large foot rest included. This is probably the most luxurious ship I have been on in two navies.” It is the first sea posting for Able Logistics Supply Specialist Chloe Cullen, who joined the Navy in 2018. “I am very honoured to be serving aboard her. We were so eager to get to sea and the first week has been an
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amazing experience. It’s an inclusive and friendly environment on board. MANAWANUI is one of a kind and I believe she is a ship everyone will enjoy serving on.” She likes the shared dining aspect, which enhances the bond between the crew. “It is one way to get to know who you work with.” There will be plenty to do this year and next, says her Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Andy Mahoney. “Operational trials will continue into 2021. By the end of this year, we will have tested many of the individual capabilities, including the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and
elements of the dive system, and that brings nearly all capabilities to bear. We’ll conduct First of Class flight trials, then next year, we’ll do a big work-up, and test everything together.” He says the motivation of the Ship’s Company has been the most pleasing. “That has not waned. We came together in May last year, and it’s been some hard months of training and modifications. The crew returned after leave, reinvigorated and ready to take MANAWANUI to sea for the first time. I’m really blessed with a motivated and fiercely proud Ship’s Company.”
New Zealand Quarantine in Whangaparaoa y Andrew Bonallack B Editor
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The establishment of a quarantine facility at the Navy’s Tamaki Leadership Centre in Whangaparaoa – Operation Corona Virus – was a first-of-its-kind for New Zealand in modern times. In February the centre, an isolated training ground used for NZDF leadership and small arms weapon training, welcomed 157 returnees from Wuhan, China, ranging from children to the elderly. They were housed in 64 campervans, effectively the returnees’ individual ‘homes’ for two weeks’ quarantine, with the existing buildings turned into a Ministry of Health administration office, an Operations Room, a NZ Police HQ, a Health check room,
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allocated ablution blocks, kids toy library, Red Cross coordination room and a faith room.
have done our job without them.” Red Cross also played an important role engaging with guests on a daily basis.
Warrant Officer Medic Mike Wiig, says the set-up was a substantial multiagency effort headed by the NZDF with guidance from Ministry of Health and supported by NZ Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) and the Red Cross.
He says the guests were fantastic and engaging from day one. “Guests arrived at Whangaparaoa, we then inducted them, and effectively created a comfortable camp environment. It was about making sure their needs were catered for. With an interpreter, we would knock on their doors, asking what help they needed. Some had never used a campervan before, so we were teaching them the finer details of the campers. We would fix their problems and assist any way we could, and try and make it an enjoyable experience.” At all times we had to ensure appropriate health protocols were being maintained.
“It was certainly a learning experience,” he says. “We had to place campervans according to the law – three metres apart – and FENZ helped with that. We had people from China, Pacific Islands, Timor Leste, some Brits and Kiwis. We had language barriers, so we had interpreters and Mandarin speaking Police Liaison Officers – we couldn’t
Quarantine at Tamaki Leadership Centre
“The community around us stepped up. We received donated goods from the community and a couple of church groups, including children’s clothing. Many people had arrived with small carry-on bags only.”
Navy and ESS chefs prepared meals in the Centre’s galley, which were collected by the guests on disposable trays and taken away for eating. Wifi was installed during the stay, for those who wanted access. “The community around us stepped up. We received donated goods from the community and a couple of church groups, including children’s clothing. Many people had arrived with small carry-on bags only.” The Tamaki Leadership Centre is not completely fenced, so an internal fence-line was established to preserve the quarantine requirements. “But we took guests on escorted walks, heading up the hills to give them views.
These walks were supported by staff from NZDF, NZ Police, MoH and Red Cross. The Physical Training Instructors put on games and entertainment. Kids activities included paper dart-making competitions and mystery parcel hunts. Adults were given the opportunity to participate in PTI supervised circuits. One of the guests started a Tai Chi class. We had a central marquee for meetings and a communal area.” The guests were farewelled on 20 February. Ten campervans were held back for Phase 2, taking in New Zealand guests from the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess.
“This is what we do,” says WOMED Wiig. “We get up there, we sort it out, and provide value. People felt safe, and we learnt a lot of lessons for the future. “Working with the numerous agencies on site was a great experience. All staff, irrespective of the agency they were representing, came together under challenging conditions to achieve what was needed. The success of the Operation was in no small part due to the dedication of all staff on site, and those working in the background to support us, who worked some very long hours.”
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Report your near misses y Director of Naval Safety and Health B Commander Raymond McLaughlin
In a previous Navy Today (Issue 223 – July 2018) I wrote a safety article titled “What a Struggle All This Reporting of Near Misses Is – Right?” It isn’t rocket science that in the complex maritime environment that we work in, that there are substantially more near misses than actual incidents. It follows then that to be certain that we have an effective Navy safety culture, we need the near misses to be reported as much as the actual incidents occurring in the Fleet and ashore. It should not be a revelation that the way we find out about near misses and actual incidents is through the reports that you raise in the Navy Safety Hazards, Accidents and Incidents Reporting system (N-SHAIR)*. What you may be unaware of is that every week of the working year the Chief of Navy, the Navy Senior Leadership,
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Commanders and Managers receive a summary of Naval System safety events raised in N-SHAIR and by Sea Safety Event signal. The summary provides both situational awareness and a gauge on the volume of safety reporting across the naval system. The volume of reporting is considered an accurate indicator of the collective progress towards improving the Naval System Health and Safety culture. The distribution of the Summary email has grown to be quite extensive and this is beneficial from a ‘building culture and situational awareness’ point of view. It informs across Naval System Commander/Managers and certain NZDF stakeholders that there are a wide range of safety events and issues occurring and being reported across the naval system. A great example of improved awareness was the inclusion of the first stress related leave report in a Summary; this then led to the generation of further reports once Commanders/Managers were aware that personal details of individuals would not be reported. With each Summary containing quite a range of near misses and actual incidents, there have been queries on the reporting threshold when the Summary includes reports like “I had to swerve to miss hitting a car on the way to the base this morning.”
These queries confirm that your Commanders and Managers are obtaining a situational awareness of safety events across the Naval System and while the event reported might seem minor, it may on occasion inform part of a bigger trend of concern to be resolved. One element NAVOSH intends to promote further is inclusion in the Summary of positive safety interventions, or events like ‘Safe Sailor Action’ being applied. If any of you come across any such an event, then please email email@example.com and let us know. In summary, when something happens in your workplace either at sea, alongside or ashore and regardless of that something being a near miss or an injury accident (or even a positive safety intervention), then don’t hesitate – inform Command and raise the N-SHAIR report. In doing so you will enable NAVOSH to reflect on the range and scale of hazards in the Fleet and ashore and you will be influencing an effective Navy safety culture. *The N-SHAIR hyperlink is found on the Navy Intranet Launch Page, top right hand corner.
MEST INNOVATION A World First y Andrew Bonallack B Editor
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The introduction of the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in 2015 introduced some enhancements to Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requirements, primarily around the carriage of enclosed lifeboats. While the Navy’s Southern Ocean Patrol Vessel, which is scheduled for introduction into service in 2027, will be built to Polar Code requirements, the Code also applies to existing ships. A challenge was therefore identified in terms of the OPVs, and so the Maritime Engineering Support Team – a collaboration between the Navy and their Strategic Maritime Partner, Babcock New Zealand – were tasked to develop a solution. James Lamb, Babcock New Zealand’s Design Manager says, “We knew fully enclosed lifeboats were required, but we don’t have a huge amount of real estate on an OPV.” The MEST team set to work designing a modular system of lifeboats and davits, which could be installed on an OPV’s flight deck. “The solution was to make the flight deck more flexible by becoming the lifeboat deck,” he says. “We are seeing a growing need for naval vessels to have flexibility in the way they deliver capability, for example the ability to embark containerised mission-specific capabilities. This is exactly what we have created for the OPVs, the first modular lifeboat davit in the world.
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We’ve even had enquiries from other customers about retro-fitting davits to their ships, as they realise the benefits that this innovative system can deliver.” The system delivers a combined lifeboat capacity for 80 people. While the addition of polar lifeboats does not match the capability that has been provisioned in the DCP for a Southern Ocean Patrol vessel, the addition of lifeboats provides further risk mitigation in utilising the existing OPVs in Southern Ocean operations. Each lifeboat is fully equipped with supplies for the five day maximum expected time of rescue, including: • Water rations of one litre per person/per day • Food rations with a calorific value of 12,000 kJ per person/per day • VHF radio • EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) • CO2 Monitor • Rocket parachute flare • Hand flare • 36 other items including fishing tackle, first aid kits, compass, boat hooks and portable fire extinguishing equipment “It’s certainly a different look,” says Mr Lamb, “but the real advantage here is the system being modular.”
“When the lifeboats are not required for current operations, they can simply be removed and stored on shore, and the ship returns to being helicoptercapable.”
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Our People 1. LT Brock West, who completed his Principal Warfare Officer’s course at HMS COLLINGWOOD, takes the top student prize. 2. A pause for the Standing Sea Emergency Team in HMNZS CANTERBURY. 3. ACWS Paulette Doctor works out in preparation for this year’s Invictus Games in The Hague.
4. MID Shannen McErlain practises her piping skills as part of her JOCT 20/01 training. 5. ACH Susana Sili cooks the salmon for dinner on board HMNZS MANAWANUI. 6. Prema McIntosh and Sarah Bamfield are promoted to Commander. CDR McIntosh becomes Chief of Staff, Defence Legal Services, and CDR Bamfield will be the next Defence Attache in Fiji. 7. HMNZS CANTERBURY’s Communications department wins the 2019 Visual Signalling Competition. 8. Service medal and award recipients at Devonport Naval Base last month. 9. CDR Martin Walker, CO HMNZS CANTERBURY, presents SLT Nicole Ruddiman with her Officer of the Watch Bravo endorsement.
10. Chief of Navy RADM David Proctor presents Paulette Taylor, a Practice Nurse at the Naval Health Centre, with her certificate of service after joining the NZDF as a nursing officer in Feb 1988.
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Making a difference y Andrew Bonallack B Editor
40 years ago Andrew Brown jumped on a bus bound for Auckland, to start his naval career as an Apprentice Weapon Fitter. What’s kept him in the Navy, he says, is knowing every day he can contribute and make a difference. These days he does that on a substantial scale, in his role of Commander Logistics within Defence Logistics Command. Commodore Brown is responsible for the effective and efficient delivery of logistics and support functions, which includes all capability, systems, components and equipment across the New Zealand Defence Force. CDRE Brown, growing up in Hawera and Cambridge, wanted an apprenticeship as a teenager. He was just finishing 6th form and saw an advertisement in the paper for Navy apprenticeships. “I thought, there’s an option. My parents were pretty comfortable with me joining the Navy. When we grew up in the 1970s, there were lots of ex-military people around, who saw it as a real career.
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Back then, Defence, Railways, the Dockyard, Post Office, and the NZ Electricity Department, were big producers of trades people.” For him it was an adventure. “Even getting your hair cut off – the late seventies was a great era for long hair – was part of the adventure.” There were 88 in his intake. “We turned up at the old TAMAKI training establishment on Vauxhall Road, and away we went.” Apprentices did a shorter period of basic common training than the other trades, then started their first year of apprenticeship training. Two years at sea followed, then another year training in the trade at TAMAKI.
Commodore Andrew Brown
“I got to the 10-year mark – arguably halfway through a career – and I was really enjoying the Navy. I thought, looking at the officers around me, that I could make more of a difference as an officer. They seemed to be more involved in the decision-making process.” Commissioning from the ranks, CDRE Brown had a shorter officer’s initial training course. As a Weapon Engineering Officer, he undertook shore logistics and engineering support roles as well as postings in HMNZ Ships MONOWAI, WAIKATO, CANTERBURY, WELLINGTON and TE KAHA. There have been numerous career highlights. “All my sea time was a highlight, in exploring the world and conducting operational deployments. But as a weapons engineer, becoming the Fleet Weapon Engineer Officer – that’s an iconic figure. It’s quite a moment. But I’ve found that in a Navy career there’s other highlights that come along. I had three years as the Naval Attaché in the United States, working and living in a diplomatic environment. And there have been personal highlights, in being able to do part of the journey of my Navy career alongside my late wife, who was also in the Navy. She was part of the first women at sea pilot. Nowadays young men and women balance this as second nature, but for me it was a real culture shock to have my wife at sea. In 1987, I think, we had one week together in almost a year.” It’s that experience that makes him take his hat off to men and women who can balance family and career. “That’s why I’m not too shy in offering assistance to our people.”
An operational deployment to Kosovo is another career highlight. A land mission, in a land-locked country, gave him insights into how other services operated and what their needs were. “I was thinking about this the other day, that Chief of Navy, Deputy Chief of Navy and myself, we’ve all done land-based operations as well as sea-based. I think in order to operate at a senior level in NZDF, you need to be a true generalist, and have that width and breadth of experience, not just in your own service but across the NZDF.” Being Chief Staff Officer Joint Plans (J5) was a very cool highlight, he says. “Ask someone 10–15 years ago, would a Navy engineer ever serve as a J5. They would say, no way.” Becoming Commander Logistics is like coming back to his roots, he says. “I’ve been in and out of the logistics world for 30 years. The privilege of being COMLOG is being involved in a true ‘integrated’ command, across the three services and core functional areas, with a substantial civilian component, all of them passionate about what they do. It’s watching Logistics Command operate at all the layers from tactical to strategic. It’s a really enabling command, it’s getting stuff done!”
“I’ve been listened to, from my first day at sea, when I asked a couple of questions, and the Chief listened to me. I’ve always been able to contribute. There’s some brilliant young people out there, and it’s one of my biggest joys, to stimulate that level of thought and input.”
CDRE Brown’s bio says he has a passion for leading organisational change. He describes himself as “a bit of a change junkie. I encourage the members of the Logistics Command to be influential, to have a level of innovation, as a way of doing business. That’s why I’m still here.”
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Art Deco Weekend It was a commemoration of a different kind for HMNZS WELLINGTON, which visited Napier last month for the annual Napier Art Deco Festival, following on from its service at Waitangi. The Navy’s involvement in the festival originates from the February 1931 earthquake that destroyed the city and killed 256 people. Crew from HMS VERONICA, aground in the harbour, came ashore to render help to the citizens, a service not forgotten to this day. The city was rebuilt in the architectural style of the era – Art Deco. Since Naval dress uniform has not changed markedly since the 1930s, visiting sailors and officers can mingle authentically with Art Deco devotees, who dress up in 1930s clothes for the festival. It is customary for the crew to accept invitations to beach picnics and group photos. Throughout the weekend, the Ship’s Company attended an array of events including the Phil Crosby Jazz Concert, the Prohibition Pop Up, the Gatsby Picnic, and the Veronica Bell Breakfast. The ship’s youngest crew member, Ordinary Logistics Supply Specialist Brooke Pullar, was invited to ring the Veronica Bell, the ship’s bell from HMS VERONICA, normally stored at Hawke’s Bay museum and mounted for the occasion at Napier’s Veronica Sunbay memorial on Marine Parade. OLSS Pullar says she was “honoured to be involved in such a significant event for the people of Napier”.
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Art Deco Weekend
Clockwise from top: ALSS Merenia Hepi, Napier resident Neville Smith, OLSS Brooke Pullar and ACH Pani Trent pose for a photo with a VIP car. It’s a 1937 Buick owned by Neville and part of a collection featuring at Art Deco Festivals. Sailors help with the demolition of the Post Office on Shakespeare Road, Napier, 1931. Source: Archives NZ MID Adam Brand, with puppy MacDuff who was dressed as a 'sailor'. ALSS Merenia Hepi, ACH Pania Trent, ACSS Nicholas White and OLSS Brooke Pullar pose for a photo with Napier locals at the Gatsby Picnic.
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Midshipman Kieran Meikle
His father, Kevin Meikle RN
Generations of Service y Andrew Bonallack B Editor
Two junior officers, the world ahead of them, yet a generation apart. The official photo of Midshipman Kieran Meikle, beside the ceremonial Royalist Division life ring, closely matches the photo of his father as a Sub Lieutenant, beside the ring for the Britannia Royal Naval College. His father, Kevin Meikle RN, has ribbons, being Commissioned from the Ranks, and ultimately served 20 years. MID Meikle, aged 20, graduating from JOCT 19/01 and posting to HMNZS WELLINGTON, is new to the challenge. “I remember the moment I decided I wanted to join the Navy. We were driving back from my grandparents’ house, talking about their stories, because my granddad had been in the Air Force,” says MID Meikle.
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“Out loud, in the back of the car, I said I wanted to be a naval aviator.” At six, Kieran was probably being loyal to his father and grandfather, but by age 10 driving ships became the goal. The family moved to New Zealand in 2010 after his father had returned from a trip feeling positive about the country. MID Meikle reckons the move to a faraway country helped prepare him for life in the Armed Forces. “I was 12 and just started secondary school. This kind of prepared me, in the sense of being able to leave things behind.” He joined the Navy in 2019. “I got to fulfil the dream I had in the back of Dad’s car.” At time of writing, MID Meikle had been posted in WELLINGTON for four weeks, as a Bridge Watchkeeper Under Training. “It’s a difficult job, but it’s a dream job,” he says. He has a poignant family connection with his great-uncle Arthur, who at 21 was shot down on a bombing raid over Germany. Arthur was fond of sketching, and MID Meikle has several of his sketches tattooed on his arm.
“He was turned down from the Royal Navy for colour-blindness, so he became an aeronautical engineer. These are some of the sketches that have meaning. When I look at my watch, to check the time, I see a lot of memories.” His advice to young persons wanting to join is to make connections.
“Talk to people who have had those experiences, to get their first-hand view. I was lucky, I had my dad who could give me the stories.”
Changes coming for Reserve Forces
Exciting New Opportunities For Reserves By LTCDR Geoffrey Andrew As the Navy gathers momentum towards the strategic goal of an integrated Defence Force by 2025, the Naval Reserve is reshaping to play its part in support of Navy, and the wider NZDF. Approval has been gained to move the Naval Reserve Reform project to the implementation phase following a detailed investigation as to how the Navy’s part time workforce could realistically augment, and supplement, the regular force. The project acknowledges, through the Navy’s Future Sailor Programme, that some of the critical skillsets the Navy needs for the future lie outside the service and the Naval Reserve is ideally placed to recruit them into the service, and give them the appropriate level of training, and employment, to add value. The project has dramatically changed the course of the Maritime Trade Operations Branch (a Naval Reserve output) with a new Concept of Employment that seeks to harness situational awareness and information
dominance for the NZDF when it comes to merchant shipping – a vital enabler for New Zealand’s security and prosperity. In addition the Naval Reserve will provide an avenue for specialist skillsets to be recruited into the Navy with an initial focus on Defence Health Services, Defence Legal Services and Public Affairs but moving on to provide support to Policing, Logistics, Communications, Warfare and beyond. Furthermore, the project has provided the architecture for an expanded presence in the Fleet Personnel and Training Organisation (FPTO) which will provide greater engagement for those who have left full-time service but desire to stay engaged with Navy on a part-time basis. Underpinning the recruitment and training of civilian professionals into the Navy is a comprehensive Naval Reserve ab-initio training scheme. Previous recruitment and training opportunities centred on reservists being included in regular force training courses; however approval has been given for the Naval Reserve to develop a training regime that better reflects
the reality of taking professionals out of their workplace and giving them the competencies required to work in the fleet. Due to the demands on regular force expanding to meet commitments for the Integrated Defence Force 2025, the Naval Reserve will be responsible for conducting ab-initio training with selected and suitably qualified personnel. Elements of training will be conducted in Reserve Divisions around the country, as well as Residential Courses supervised by the Leadership Development Group. Like our regular force counterparts, 2020 will see a surge in activity in the Naval Reserve as we implement new initiatives and change mindsets along the way. Naval Reserve leadership will visit each division early this year to communicate the changes to our reservists, and to provide context for new opportunities. This year is set to be an exciting step forward for the Naval Reserve as we move forward with our regular force counterparts on the journey that is the Integrated Defence Force 2025.
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Building hope in Nepal A Navy officer fresh from graduation has flexed her newly honed leadership skills working with a teenage team to build an orphanage in Nepal. Over the summer Sub Lieutenant Nikita Leeks co-led a team of 12 teenagers to Nepal as part of humanitarian work with Australasian organisation Teen Missions International (TMI). “I’ve been involved with TMI since I was 14, and have conducted three mission trips with them as a team member to Vanuatu, India and Nepal. These trips really grew me as a person and instilled in me a passion to serve and a passion to see the world. I joined the Navy with these passions still very much alive within me and it has been a goal for me to find a chance in my career to again serve with the organisation; this time as a leader.”
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After a two-day leaders’ seminar in Australia, SLT Leeks connected with her team and flew to Nepal, then drove for 12 hours to Urlabari. “I remember arriving late in the evening, but we were still greeted by the beautiful smiling faces of the children. Although we were exhausted from all the travel, their faces and their warm hugs reminded us of why we were there and the positive impact that we wanted to have during our stay.” Over a month, the team worked on the orphanage, building walls and constructing windows, then helping with the concrete pour for the next storey. “Our incredible team managed to complete the concrete pour in a Nepali record time of three hours and we, along with Reuben our missionary and the surrounding community, were all ecstatic with the final result. The work was tough at times with language barriers, Nepali delivery timings and frequent power outages causing interesting obstacles for the team to overcome, but nothing could compare with the grateful hearts of those precious children that saw their brand-new home beginning to form before their eyes.”
She says it was an honour to be immersed in the Urlabari community. “From simple tasks such as picking up rubbish along the streets to seeing the completion of our main project to daily hugs and smiles and laughter with our new family, each moment was beyond all I could’ve expected or imagined and I will forever be grateful. I’m so excited to continue to be involved in the work in Urlabari and continue to see the beautiful future that each of those children have before them. I hope I go back to become involved in their teaching programmes if the opportunity arises.”
SLT Leeks will be running a half-marathon in Melbourne in May as a fundraiser for the orphanage in her story, and would be keen for support from her Navy colleagues.
Defence Diplomacy Coin
New Zealand Defence Diplomacy Coin Two Navy personnel have helped design a unique ‘challenge coin’ to tell the story of New Zealand’s defence diplomacy in the UK and Europe. Brigadier Chris Parsons and Lieutenant Commander Zia Jones collaborated on the coin’s look, with artist Leading Combat System Specialist Te Naawe Tupe perfecting the design. Central to the design is a kaitiaki, or guardian, representing the role of the Defence Force as guarantor of freedom, says LTCDR Jones. “The characteristics of the kaitiaki represent the elements embodied in New Zealand’s Defence diplomacy team. The beak represents the Air Force, the unblinking eye represents intelligence cooperation, the taiaha, or fighting staff, represents the Army and the kaitiaki’s tail represents the Navy. The muscled arm represents the role of the industry and innovation team. All these elements are connected by the tinana, or body, which represents the vital role of the business support team.” Defence diplomacy seeks to build relationships, develop understanding and create opportunities by constructively leveraging Defence capabilities, he says. “The swirling
background represents the changeable and often opaque character of the international environment within which defence diplomacy occurs. The duality of working for peace while being prepared to fight, if necessary, is represented in the stance of the kaitiaki. In one hand the taiaha is held in poupou tahi, or ready, stance. The other hand is outstretched offering an olive branch above the New Zealand flag. Taken together the flag and olive branch highlight the constructive role defence diplomacy has in amplifying the voice, values and interests of New Zealand.” Set along the coin’s border are the flags of the countries and international organisations that the New Zealand Defence Staff are accredited with. The star represents the seniority of New Zealand Defence representation. The star is located at the lowest point in the circle, which is emblematic of the New Zealand Defence Force’s leadership ethos of service before self. “The obverse profiles a Kiwi on black and white – the national colours of New Zealand.”
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Survivors’ Reunion held at Motuihe Island y Suzi Phillips B Senior Communications Advisor North
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Motuihe Island was known as ‘the Rock’ to more than 15,000 new naval recruits who trained there between 1941 and 1963. Most hadn’t been back to ‘the Rock’ since that basic naval training, and this time they didn’t have to carry up two buckets of wet sand or fall in and run a circuit of the island.
More than 100 “Survivors of the Rock” reunited on Motuihe Island in February and once again, the matelots climbed the island’s notorious hill to what was the site of HMNZS TAMAKI for 22 years.
Just as well, as the oldest recruits are in their late 90s now and the youngest are in their 70s. The exchange of dits flowed among the Navy veterans as they gathered on the island for a ceremonial unveiling of a memorial plaque and were addressed by the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor. The plaque says, “This memorial marks the site of HMNZS Tamaki where more than 15,000 recruits undertook their naval training during the establishment’s 22 years on Motuihe Island. This commemorative plaque is dedicated to the officers, instructors, ship’s company and trainees who served here. Their Spirit lives on. Pursue the path of excellence.” and was followed by a karakia in Māori.
Despite their age, they were still able to muster an efficient guard for the occasion led by former Gunnery Instructor, Jack Donnelly, and at the end of the ceremony, the survivors tossed their hats high again, as they gave three rowdy cheers. One of the oldest survivors at the reunion, former sailor Brian Breen (now 94 years old), did his basic training on the Rock when he was 16 years old. He says his most enduring memories were the experiences from “learning to do as I was told, paying attention, following directions and getting fit”. “The first time I got the rattle, was on our morning run, up at 5.30am, left our camp, down the hill, through the grove, up to the farm, around the water tower and back. On the way back through the grove we decided to have an acorn fight. We had a bit of boys’ fun, but the leading boy reported us. “That was my first introduction to ‘jankers’… getting up early in the morning, doing an hour’s exercise with a rifle, held out in front or above your head, frog hopping… and then extra work at 4.30pm.
Above: The reunion attendees call three cheers for the Navy. Opposite page: The Chief of Navy, RADM David Proctor, shares a moment with the ‘guard’ on Motuihe Island.
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Left: The plaque is unveiled. Below: Chief of Navy with some old salts from HMNZS TAMAKI.
Above: John Neilson (left) and Richard Rigarlsford share old memories of their time at HMNZS TAMAKI.
“Another time, we were in the gunnery getting instruction and the Petty Officer asked me a question, but I had dozed off and didn’t know the question, so he introduced me to Jimmy.
“The instructors made you do things and at the time you had no idea what these things were going to contribute – like going down to the beach to collect a wet bucket of sand.
“Jimmy was a six-inch 112-pound projectile, and I had to carry it along and down the hill, and back up. I had a few harsh words to say about him… later on when I was on a ship, he was the coxswain and he was one of the finest people you could ever wish to meet.”
“What it did do in later years was instil this idea of being dedicated to one thing and being absolutely under orders and doing what you are told.”
Former Chief Engineer Leon Kovaleski says he came up on the 2.40am railcar from New Plymouth to Auckland, and joined up at 17 and a half years in 1963. “I was in the very last intake, and I had no idea what I was getting into. I had no idea what was going to meet me and I had no idea what the next three months held.
Mr Kovaleski served over 21 years in the Navy, doing his part two training in Devonport and then posted to a then new ship, HMNZS TARANAKI, for his first two and half years. He served as an electrical engineer for all his time with the Navy.
the kitchen and instructors block plus the Captain’s residence. “At the end of your training turn, we were taken ashore to Auckland to one of the baths for a swimming test, and jumped in our uniform and did a couple of lengths of the baths. The gunnery instructor, a Petty Officer took us over in groups of 25–30 at a time, marching us from the Admiralty steps up to the baths. “I don’t think he was very familiar with Auckland, because on the way back we finished up in Gleeson’s Hotel. The memory is fading a bit, but that was almost 80 years ago now.”
The eldest survivor was Mr Richard Rigalsford, now 97 years old, who remembers the island as it was when he arrived in May 1941. There were four dormitories or huts, an administration block, a dining hall and
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Career transition By Suzi Phillips Senior Communications Advisor North If you are thinking of leaving the Navy – maybe this year or in a few years – then Career Transition Coach Jennie Miller is here to help.
Jennie was attracted to work for NZDF because it was an excellent opportunity to provide a best practice transition service from the start.
Jennie works at Devonport Naval Base helping sailors decide if they want to go or stay, identifying possible work options (out in the civilian world or staying put) and their best options for a happy work life.
“People can work with us when they are thinking about leaving and learn the best ways to approach it. And we can work with people for up to a year after they leave the Defence Force, because this is a transition service and transitions don’t always happen quickly,” she says. “People sometimes grab the first job opportunity they get and it may not be the right one.”
If someone is clear about their next steps they may just need support with the job application process, including CV and cover letter writing, and preparing for interviews. “There’s a lot more to this process than most people think,” she says. Jennie is an experienced, professional career development coach who is part of a newly established team brought in by NZDF to help its workforce. “What people do with their working lives deserves the best efforts and I like helping people connect with work they enjoy,” says Jennie. “When you’re happy in your work, you are able to go home and be happier there.”
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“Some of the people I’m working with are thinking about leaving in a few years and want to develop the skills needed in the civilian world, consider what work they could do, and identify opportunities for learning,” says Jennie. “For those who are definitely leaving we help with the whole job application process – including how to look for work, which is a lot more than simply applying for jobs on Seek.
“Many have been in the Navy all their working lives and have never had to do this before. As coaches we work closely with individuals to develop the best approach for each person, using up-to-date knowledge and experience of what works… and what doesn’t.” “We help them work out how they could make that transition and what work they could do, how best to apply their skills, and what’s really important to them – what aligns with their values,” says Jennie. “A lot of people don’t realise how important your values are in working out what you want to do.” Jennie works with Regular Force personnel in a confidential process, and will soon be running regular career development workshops on how to look for work, CV and cover letter writing, and interview skills. Watch out for more information on these.
Big Brothers have been paired with their ‘Littles’ Henry 8; Oliver, 10; and Larel, 8. The ‘Bigs’ and ‘Littles’ meet once a week for an hour or three of fun, giving the two an opportunity to bond and foster positive memories.
Three Sub Lieutenants are creating new stories for young Kiwis who deserve a break in life by becoming mentors in the Big Brothers Big Sisters organisation. The Big Brothers Big Sisters charity has only recently started within Auckland, but is already drawing a big mentee base. Sub Lieutenants Jack Walters, Bob Lee, and Sam McMinn signed on as mentors, or ‘Bigs’, and
These get-togethers can consist of fun-filled activities such as rock climbing, ice skating, arcade gaming and sports, to something as simple as heading to the playground. While being fun, these get-togethers also allow for the uplifting of mana and provides the mentee with a responsible role model to look up to. The backgrounds the mentees come from often means that these activities may not be available without the support of the mentor. All the Sub Lieutenants agree that they have equal, if not more fun than the mentees and have enjoyed assisting their mentees in reaching their full potential. Recently the three ‘Bigs’, with the assistance of the HMNZS PHILOMEL Boats Squadron, organised an expedition to Motutapu Island for
football, swimming, and a picnic. The three ‘Littles’ thoroughly enjoyed the ride over in the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat and the sunny weather made for excellent swimming conditions. After a game of soccer in which the ‘Littles’ ‘won’ over the ‘Bigs’ and a relaxing picnic the group returned to Devonport tired and happy. Big Brothers Big Sisters are always looking for both males and females to enter the programme as mentors. Additionally, it relies entirely on funding from generous donors. Each match costs $1,800 a year to maintain. If you are interested in supporting this cause, you can find out more at www.bigbrothersbigsistersauckland. org.nz.
Top: SLT Jack Walters, SLT Bob Lee and SLT Sam McMinn with their ‘littles’ enjoy a day out.
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Torty the Tortoise A Navy chaplain had the rare privilege of meeting the oldest survivor of World War I – Torty the Tortoise. Chaplain Helen Gywn was in Palmerston North when she met family friends who shared ownership of Torty, a famous tortoise who was rescued from injury during World War I and smuggled to New Zealand. She was delighted to get a chance to meet the celebrity, whose adventures have been the subject of social media, news features and even a children’s book.
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According to media, Torty was rescued in the Greek city of Salonika by Stewart Little, a Kiwi medic who served in the ambulance corps during WWI. He saw her get run over by a gun wagon, but seeing she had only minor injuries he picked her up and later smuggled her back to New Zealand. Today, Torty’s third generation of carers – four grandsons – share ownership, while Torty spends her days munching on fruit and vegetables, or hibernating for five months of the year. CHP Gwyn says it was almost surreal to meet Torty. “I got to spend a couple of hours with her. She’s something that was alive during World War I. It’s an amazing story. The family are passionate about her and very generous in sharing her around.”
Medals Reunited News
HQ NZDF WINTER INTERNSHIPS 2020 HDML KUPARU underway in Kaipara Harbour, 2018.
HDML REUNION A reunion noting 80 years since the introduction of the Harbour Defence Motor Launches (HDML) is being mooted by enthusiasts and owners of the remaining ‘fleet’, for Easter Weekend 2023. In 1943, and through to 1944, 16 Motor Launches (MLs) made it to our shores after being built in the USA and transported by Liberty ships. They were 22 metres long and weighed 54 tonnes new. The 16 HDMLs were split between two Flotillas, 124th and 125th. They were painted dark grey, with some being painted white in 1950 as survey vessels. Many were given a Black and White livery as Fisheries Protection vessels after 1960. Over the period from 1950 to 1984, many MLs (both ex Fisheries and Survey) were used for other tasks and were stood down from active service, dispatched to the wreckers or sold privately. Many were seconded to the RNZNVR and located in the four main ports.
As of 2012 there were still ten vessels in private hands and in various states of repair. In 2014 TARAPUNGA burned to the hull and sank, and HAKU sank at her mooring in 2018. This has left eight–MAKO in Brisbane, TAKAPU chartering in Fiordland, PARORE in refit in Wellington. KOURA, ALERT and TAMURE are slipped at Kopu Boatyard undergoing refits, and both KUPARU and PAEA have been refitted lovingly and are moored in Whangarei Harbour. KUPARU and PAEA are often seen around Auckland but they are costly to maintain so rely on donations to run them. KUPARU, in particular, is still a work in progress and owner Scott Perry has a Givealitte page (https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/ exnavy). For more information on the reunion, or about all things HDML, email Thane Zander at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you a serving Reservist about to complete your university studies or preparing for a mid semester break? The HQ NZDF Winter Reserve Force Internship Scheme (RIS) will provide selected NZDF Reservists with an internship at a NZDF base across New Zealand. Interns will be placed where their individual skills can best be used while the intern will be exposed to opportunities to further a military or civilian career with the NZDF. Ten internships are available to current tertiary students who are junior rank or junior officer Reservists from either the Navy, Army or Air Force, have completed more than two year’s undergraduate studies or are undertaking post graduate studies, are available for four weeks between 8 June to 17 July 2020, and are not in paid full time civilian employment. Applicants from any academic discipline will be considered. Email email@example.com for an application form. Final day for applications: Friday 17 April.
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“After eight years without one, I started smoking again when I was overseas. At Christmas I knew it was the right time to stop. NZDF’s programme has made it a helluva lot easier.” ~ W O1 Mark Mortiboy Warrant Officer of the Defence Force
You’ve just got to find the why.
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Navy Today is a monthly magazine that celebrates the latest news about the Royal New Zealand Navy and its people. We cover operations and ex...
Published on Apr 6, 2020
Navy Today is a monthly magazine that celebrates the latest news about the Royal New Zealand Navy and its people. We cover operations and ex...