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HMNZS OTAGO SHAKES DOWN READY FOR JOINT WAKA KIWIS SUCCEEDING OVERSEAS
HAERE MAI AOTEAROA
Contents 04 AOTEAROA arrives in Auckland
21 International Women in Engineering Day
12 HMNZS OTAGO shakes down and works up
22 Kiwis succeeding overseas
28 Damage Control refreshed
30 Exercise Storm
Joint Waka action
20 HMNZS HAWEA’s border protection
“ I had the misconception that
you had to have heaps of practical experience already and know about cars and stuff. I was completely wrong!”
~ SLT Francesca Hlavac, Marine Engineering Officer attached to HMAS PARRAMATTA.
21 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: email@example.com Design and Layout: Defence Public Affairs
Printed by: Bluestar Private Bag 39996, Wellington Distribution: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
04 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. Defence Careers: Phone: 0800 1FORCE (0800 136 723) www.defencecareers.mil.nz Changing Address? To join or leave our mailing list, please contact: Email: email@example.com
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Cover: AOTEAROA approaches Waitemata Harbour on her arrival day. Photographer: PO Chris Weissenborn
Yours Aye Commanding Officer AOTEAROA
I still can’t stop smiling with happiness and pride that AOTEAROA is home in Aotearoa. Having our new ship arrive home is a huge event for the Commissioning Ship’s Company, and a momentous occasion for our Navy. We have taken delivery of a new ship with significant capabilities, which when combined with the rest of our fleet and the wider Defence Force, will enhance our Navy’s ability to advance New Zealand’s interests from the sea.
“ We are all the current kaitiaki of the RNZN and serve proudly to safeguard our Navy. The inherent desire to protect our shipmates and project our Navy’s capabilities and reputation is guardianship.”
At the moment I think it’s one of the greatest times to be serving in Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa. When I think about the new ships entering into service, frigates being modernised combined with existing capabilities, we are shaping well. Add to that the professionalism of our people as we adjust to the new normal of COVID-19, and that we are regenerating and growing our Navy, I reckon the RNZN has to be one of the best careers anyone in New Zealand could want for – how lucky are we! This month’s Navy Today showcases our people and their experiences including serving in new ships, work up, border protection and overseas exchanges and more. These are incredible experiences that are available to all of us at various times throughout a naval career. I’ve had similar opportunities and they have all made my service so enjoyable, but for me the satisfaction of serving is constant, and exists between, as well as during, great opportunities. The fulfilment I gain comes from serving alongside incredibly talented sailors who are all constant kaitiaki (guardians) of our Navy. Look around your ship or office. You will see we are surrounded by incredible ship mates, service people and NZDF civilians committed to serving New Zealand. I am constantly amazed at how good our people are. You’d think someone about to
commence their sixth sea command would be used to how good our people are by now. I’m unashamed to say I’m not – as it seems to me every naval generation is making the RNZN even stronger. The talent of our people is inspirational. I’ve served with hundreds of amazing people, who come from different backgrounds yet work together to make the ships and other units I’ve served on and in successful, effective and fun. We bring a powerful mix of backgrounds and knowledge, which combines into strong teams with a shared purpose. That’s where guardianship comes to the fore. We are all the current kaitiaki of the RNZN and serve proudly to safeguard our Navy. The inherent desire to protect our shipmates and project our Navy’s capabilities and reputation is guardianship. Think about it – during your posting, duty or even a watch, you complete your duty, making adjustments if required, so when you hand over everything will keep running smoothly, but preferably was improved during your ‘watch’. That is kaitiaki, and it applies at individual, part of ship, mess, whole ship and Navy levels, spanning all ranks and naval generations. We are the kaitiaki of Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa – it unites us. To finish off, here is an example of a combination of great people and kaitiaki in action. After AOTEAROA berthed at DNB for the first time, I escorted the VIPs to witness my Ship’s Company welcoming AOTEAROA with a powerful haka, when unplanned, BCT 20/01 were invited to join them to welcome our newest ship. Before the Ship’s Company had even set foot on board their ship, the sharing of kaitiaki of AOTEAROA had begun. E hēremana ahau – I am a sailor Captain Simon Rooke MNZM, RNZN Commanding Officer AOTEAROA
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AOTEAROA ARRIVES y Andrew Bonallack B Editor
She arrived a day early, but a day of tantalising, distant glimpses only heightened the excitement of AOTEAROA’s majestic approach into Waitemata Harbour. Around Devonport Naval Base, and within the Devonport community, the day before was almost a competition of who had been able to get a good look at AOTEAROA’s profile and details. She anchored near Rangitoto Island after a flawless 15-day run from Ulsan, Korea, and perhaps the prize of first closest look could go to the junior officers of class JOCT 20/01, who diverted a sailing exercise for a close approach. Elsewhere, Flag Lieutenant Maddy Win, driving the Chief of Navy and Warrant Officer of the Navy to Devonport, takes the long route back via Narrow Neck Beach, where AOTEAROA could be viewed. A delivery crew consisting of Hyundai Heavy Industries personnel and 11 Defence Force personnel were a day away from delivering the Navy’s fleet replenishment vessel – and at 173.2m long the largest Navy ship in New Zealand’s history.
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AOTEAROA is the Navy’s Maritime Sustainment Capability vessel, a vastly more complex replacement for HMNZS ENDEAVOUR, decommissioned in 2017. With a 9,500 tonne fuel capacity, AOTEAROA is largely about fuel, but the new ship is a global replenishment platform, capable of carrying 22 shipping containers and designed for humanitarian operations as well as fleet sustainment. She is ice-strengthened with the ability to resupply McMurdo and Scott Bases. COVID-19 had to be factored into her voyage. Two days before departure, Korean health authorities tested her crew, with all testing negative. Her 15-day voyage was direct with no contact. While anchored near Rangitoto, a medical team tested the crew again, with all results coming back negative.
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18 July 2016
29 January 2018
24 April 2019
25 October 2019
Government announces intent to build MSC vessel
The MSC is named AOTEAROA
First steel cut
Keel laying ceremony
Naming ceremony at HHI shipyards
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Badge design announced
January to June 2020 Sea trials and final preparations
11 June 2020
26 June 2020
AOTEAROA departs Ulsan, Korea, for New Zealand
AOTEAROA arrives at Devonport Naval Base, Auckland
Sea Acceptance and Readiness checks
Replenishment at Sea exercises, work-up evaluations
First trip to McMurdo, Antarctica
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On Friday morning, June 26, AOTEAROA weighs anchor and heads in. Spectators line North Head, while others opt for the jetty near the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum. From Calliope Wharf at Devonport Naval Base, AOTEAROA’s first appearance is like a building moving slowly behind the ferry terminal. Many bigger ships have come into Auckland harbour, but the understated, muted grey paintwork seems to make AOTEAROA larger. Earlier in the month the call went out to boaties to join a welcoming ‘flotilla’ and Auckland answered the call – a flotilla of yachts and motorboats, with NZ Police and Coastguard NZ launches, are there to escort her in. Two C-130 Hercules and a P-3 Orion of the Royal New Zealand Air Force fly in formation overhead, while two Navy SH-2G(I) Seaprites are everywhere, gathering film and video footage for the media. AOTEAROA eases past HMNZS MANAWANUI, who has loaded up with VIPs and media and positioned herself to one side in the harbour. MANAWANUI pivots and follows behind as AOTEAROA moves steadily past the Auckland skyline and turns 180 degrees, like a model at the end of the catwalk. Calliope Wharf has been extended 50 metres to
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accommodate AOTEAROA and one other ship, and AOTEAROA lines up what will be her personal slot. It is this last movement which grips the audience on the wharf. The ship becomes too wide for cameras to take in. No Navy ship has so emphatically blotted out the Auckland skyline like this. The docking is flawless, almost without contact. MANAWANUI, thanks to its dynamic positioning system, parks like a helicopter behind AOTEAROA and
the VIPs assemble on the wharf. Already waiting is AOTEAROA’s chosen commissioning crew, who form up to perform the Navy haka, supported by around 100 recruits from BCT 20/01. Among the audience is Executive Officer Lieutenant Commander Nikki Fox. “She’s big,” she says. “She’s beautiful. It is so exciting. People have been messaging me, saying they’ve seen her coming in.” LTCDR Fox was posted to AOTEAROA a year ago and has been involved in her
naming ceremony and nine days of sea trials in Korea. “I’m excited to see how she handles when we fuel up with cargo.”
very well thought out. At the time, I thought if we got 50 per cent of what I suggested, I would be happy. I reckon I got a lot more.”
Chief Petty Officer Seaman Combat Specialist Andrew 'Taff' Morris is a former Chief Bosun’s Mate of HMNZS ENDEAVOUR with years of refuelling at sea experience. He takes on the role of Command Senior Rate for AOTEAROA. “She’s definitely got all the bells and whistles,” he says. “The Replenishment At Sea (RAS) equipment is state-of-the-art, and
Sub Lieutenant Shaun O’Halloran, one of the ship’s warfare officers, says he was “absolutely stoked” to be posted to AOTEAROA. “I had just finished up my Maritime Warfare Operators Course. To be honest, it’s the best posting I could have possibly got. It’s got to be a massive career highlight, and I haven’t even set foot on board yet. I can’t wait.”
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Captain Simon Rooke has already commanded five ships. When the Chief of Navy asked him if he would take command of AOTEAROA, his answer was an immediate yes, “but can I ring my wife and tell her?”
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At the rank of Captain, CAPT Rooke had not been anticipating another ship command. He and his wife and daughters had been planning a move to Wellington when he was approached for the role. “It’s hard to think of the right words to describe it,” he says. “It’s obviously satisfying to be selected to command, and very humbling.” CAPT Rooke has served nearly 30 years. Originally from Kawerau, he shared a class at college with the future Deputy Chief of Navy, Commodore Melissa Ross, before moving to Rotorua and signing on as a midshipman in 1991. The cliché of the sea in the blood really does apply to CAPT Rooke. He is descended from Admiral Sir George Rooke, who captured Gibraltar for the British Empire. “One of my uncles served in HMNZS GAMBIA during the war, and postwar served on merchant ships for decades. My Dad’s brothers were all in the Navy or Merchant Navy, and one of them also went on to build and own a commercial fishing boat.”
He says he wanted a hands-on practical job. “There was the appeal of doing a job that represented your country, and it was something that wasn’t sitting in an office. And to be honest, the recruiter – Warrant Officer Reece Golding – convinced me the Navy was a great option for me – he was spot on!” As a national level swimmer, fitness wasn’t a problem, but Auckland was an eye-opener to a 17-year-old from Rotorua. His focus was to qualify as a navigator. “Navigation had a lot of appeal. I saw that as the ultimate way to work at sea.” Qualifying as a bridge watchkeeper in 1993 and Navigating Officer in 1997, he was awarded a New Zealand Order of Merit that same year for his work as a boarding officer in HMNZS CANTERBURY (F421) in the Arabian Gulf. His first command was HMNZS HINAU during the 2000 America’s Cup Regatta. He has commanded HMNZS KAHU, been the delivery CO for HMNZ Ships WELLINGTON and OTAGO and continued as the commissioning CO for OTAGO. His last command was HMNZS
CAPTAIN SIMON ROOKE
CANTERBURY (L421), notable for three major humanitarian and disaster relief operations in Vanuatu, Fiji and the Kaikoura earthquakes in 2016. Kaikoura is one of his career highlights. “Being able to directly help other Kiwis in their time of need was incredibly rewarding. When we were evacuating residents by sea, our team were eager to get on with the job and make our guests feel safe in a difficult time. It’s what we’re trained to do, and the fact that we could respond in a time of crisis is the ultimate satisfaction.” He acknowledges it is a long road to qualify to warfare officer (2002) and command. “But my career has been full of tangible milestones to develop as a CO. It is an honour to command a ship.” CAPT Rooke considers his focus to be on the women and men under his command. "A ship doesn’t function without every member of the crew being able to contribute meaningfully.
The mission is always there, but your people and their wellbeing has to be at the forefront of your mind. There are times when you have to ask things of your crew that they wouldn’t normally choose to do. They have to be in a good place and have trust in you as their CO, and you having trust in them.” CAPT Rooke got involved with AOTEAROA shortly after she was launched. “We’ve got our Ship’s Company – a self-motivated and really professional group of people. There’s a degree of unique opportunity and privilege with being the first crew of any ship.” The mix of experience includes personnel who served aboard the Navy’s previous replenishment vessel, HMNZS ENDEAVOUR.
“ Replenishment at sea, cargo operations, aviation, and Antarctic resupply. At the beginning of 2022, we’ll be in Antarctica. That will be amazing.”
After the fanfare of arrival and commissioning, four big tasks lie ahead, among countless smaller requirements.
SAME PEN, DIFFERENT DAY The pen that was used to sign the documents accepting HMNZS ENDEAVOUR from Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) was used again to accept her successor, AOTEAROA – also built by HHI. On Wednesday 8 July the commissioning Commanding Officer, Captain Simon Rooke, added his signature to the Ministry of Defence’s acceptance document. The pen was courtesy of Captain John Westphall
(retired), a former Director Naval Material, who was among the party who went to Korea to accept ENDEAVOUR in April 1988. After the signing he kept the pen. Last year he donated the pen to Rear Admiral David Proctor, believing it would be symbolic to have the same pen utilised for both ENDEAVOUR and AOTEAROA. The pen will be framed and remain in AOTEAROA.
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Shaking Down And Working Up From the Commanding Officer down, a Ship's Company is not a long-term prospect. It is renewed, turned over and refreshed, year on year, as sailors and officers progress in their careers and post elsewhere. 12 | Navy Today #245
Sailors arrive with skills and trades, but unfamiliar with a particular ship and their crewmates. That has to change – pretty fast. It’s called a Readiness Training Period, but in the Navy it’s commonly known as the ‘Shakedown’ and ‘Work-Up’. During April, May and June HMNZS OTAGO was shaken down and worked up under the mentorship and direction of the Maritime Operational Evaluation Team (MOET). The “Green team”, so-named because of their flight-suit green General Working Dress, is a formidable collection of experienced experts armed with clipboards, fake blood and smoke machines. Their job is to accompany the ship – bunking down in spare spaces – and mentor and drill the crew over and over in warfare, core mariner skills, damage control, aviation, survivability, defence diplomacy, and C4ISR
(command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance). The end result, when OTAGO achieved her Directed Level of Capability (DLOC), is a Ship’s Company with the knowledge, familiarity, physiological response and muscle memory to move with urgency and react in the right way. Actions become second nature, freeing up the brain to focus on detail. In short, they know what to do, and what others will be doing around them.
OTAGO WORK UP
Able Combat System Specialist Eliza Thomson When I heard that HMNZS OTAGO was about to do a MOET Covered Shake Down (MCSD) my mind instantly went to the only other shakedown I’ve experienced: range week during Basic Common Training. Flashbacks of running up and down Dems Range, swimming in Army Bay at ridiculous hours of the morning, endless group remedials and just generally being pushed to exhaustion. That paired with stories about the feared “Green Team” had me anticipating a week from hell. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when it quickly became apparent that MOET were not in fact the monsters in green that I had been led to believe, but rather a group of knowledgeable and supportive officers and ratings who were here to push us to do well in both our specific areas and as a Ship’s Company. That’s not to say parts weren’t challenging, as there were definitely many learning opportunities not just for myself as an Ordinary Rate under training, but for the ship as a whole. It was great seeing every department rise to the challenge.
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Midshipman David Trebilco HMNZS OTAGO sailed on Tuesday 28 April in company with HMNZS MANAWANUI and HMNZS HAWEA. It was great to see a formation exit with OTAGO leading the formation to sea for the week. OTAGO completed Sea Acceptance Trials before embarking MOET personnel for the MCSD starting on 4 May. During the two weeks at sea it was great to see Ship’s Company come together after over 50 per cent of the crew had changed out since the start of the year. At the end of the MCSD, OTAGO completed a pilotage through Man o’ War Passage at Great Barrier Island. This was a thrilling experience, heading through a tight passage approximately 85 yards between two pieces of land. The successful pilotage was an indication of how far Ship’s Company had come since the start of the week.
Able Weapon Technician Rob Barker Put yourself in this position – it’s 4am, you’re in bed getting a good sleep for another day at sea. Then midway through a dream, the delight of the alarm pinging through the cabins of HMNZS OTAGO wakes you up. “SMOKE SMOKE SMOKE!” You get dressed into coveralls, boots, and antiflash gear as fast as possible, and race to the scene at the other end of the ship with a fire extinguisher – all within 60 seconds. It’s all an exercise, of course, but it’s part of the life when you’re a member of Initial Attack in Standing Sea Emergency Party (the group of assigned individuals who work as a team to respond to any damage control incidents on board). It’s an exciting role, and makes every day pretty different. From carrying casualties out of the engine spaces because of toxic gas, plugging holes that cause a flood, fighting a main engine fire, rubbish bin fire, or anything in between – it’s definitely a good time! Doing it under the watchful eye of MOET can be a steep learning curve for sure, but it helps everyone develop their own skillset and work as a team – eventually we could use these skills in a real incident!
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OTAGO WORK UP
Force protection role-play
The volcanic heights of the Territory of Beulah makes it easy for locals to spot HMNZS OTAGO being eased into a vacant wharf at Kauritania Port. Word quickly gets around. The Royal New Zealand Navy vessel, with Beulah Government officials on board, has been undertaking fisheries patrols in the territory’s Exclusive Economic Zone, following an appeal from Beulah to the NZ Government for help. Beulah has a problematic relationship with a neighbouring Pacific nation, Avalon, over fishing rights, and has accused Avalon of poaching in their waters. All of the above is a fictitious scenario, mocked up as a training evaluation for OTAGO’s Ship's Company as a test of defence diplomacy. The Maritime Operational Evaluation Team have set up the Kauri Point wharf in Auckland as ‘Kauritania Port’, and have an entertaining day planned. The scenario says that calling in military help has divided Beulah. In the 10 days OTAGO has been on patrol, resentment has grown over what some see as heavy-handed government
agility, have started scaling the ship. One of them performs a tribal dance in one of the ship’s seaboats, hyping the crowd even further. The sentries stay calm, working together to corner the protesters, who sensibly realise they’ve made their point and the fun is over. They obey instructions to lie down without fuss, and the sentries secure them with cuffs. tactics in a decades-old dispute. By the time OTAGO has secured at the wharf, a crowd of protesters has appeared at the port’s gate, waving placards. It doesn’t take them long to push through the perimeter fencing, and in no time the crowd are beside the ship, chanting and shouting. Many of them have covered their faces. Smoke flares add to the drama and confusion. The bridge officers can be seen at the bridge wing windows, but inevitably the ship’s sentries, armed with rifles and wearing flak jackets and helmets, bear the brunt of the protesters’ shouts and abuse. It’s hard to keep track of it all. A local chief is trying to wave a sentry closer, to make himself heard. One enterprising local holds up a sack of sea urchins, offering to trade it for diesel. A bewildered local, with mental health difficulties, wanders back and forth, and the sentries watch him carefully, in case he injures himself. Among it all, a reporter/ photographer from the local paper, the Beulah Echo, hustles for the best angles among the drama. The reporter’s head goes up as the crowd point and cheer. Three of the protesters, with a remarkable show of
The reporter has been trying to get the sailors to talk to him without success, but they pass his request for an interview up to the bridge. To his delight, he gets an interview with the Executive Officer. The Lieutenant is careful with his phrasing and despite the reporter’s best efforts doesn’t speculate or give an opinion on the political issues. The ship is in Beulah at the mutual request of two governments, he says. We’re tasked to undertake patrols. The following day, the protesters are gone, but there’s more to contend with. The sentries cop abuse from fishermen in a boat, but things suddenly get serious. Two trained “Brotherhood of Great Barrier Island” soldiers attempt to get on board, but are detained by the ship’s upper deck sentries. Later in the day, a drone hovers near OTAGO, but a pointed warning using the ship’s loudhailer quickly discourages the operator. Dave Williams, Defence Public Affairs, role-played the reporter. “The ship’s officers were very good, very diplomatic. I also got an interview with the Commanding Officer, and I was trying to soften her up, but I don’t think I succeeded. She was very good with her answers.”
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Combating Fatigue y Commander Raymond McLaughlin B Director of Naval Safety and Health
“ Fatigue, rest and recuperation require active management, which is not only an organisational responsibility, but also an individual responsibility.” ~ Rear Admiral David Proctor, Chief of Navy
Fatigue is one of those interesting words in the English language as it has a variety of meanings and grammatical usage. On one hand it can mean weakness in metal or other materials caused by repeated variations of stress. On the other hand, it can mean extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness. When we talk of fatigue we often use the term to also cover less extreme levels of tiredness. Regardless of which part of the ‘tiredness’ spectrum applies, fatigue is considered a real hazard, posing significant short-term and long-term risk outcomes across the RNZN. Fatigue as a hazard must be understood and a safe working environment must be managed and maintained for all RNZN personnel. This is both a Health and Safety at Work Act legislated requirement and also an enabling capability consideration around us all being ‘Safe to Fight’. It should come as no surprise that a common underlying finding across the majority of Naval System safety investigations is a certain degree of fatigue contributing to an accident or near-miss incident. The NZDF and the RNZN have a multitude of policies and practices in place to manage fatigue. Lieutenant Commander Kelly Smith has developed a reference guide that
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brings together all fatigue references from across the NZDF and RNZN. The guide will be published as form ‘RNZN 003A, RNZN Fatigue Management’ and also summarises the critical points of understanding fatigue and the effects of fatigue. The Chief of Navy states that “Fatigue, rest and recuperation require active management, which is not only an organisational responsibility, but also an individual responsibility”. It is beyond doubt that fatigue at any level has an adverse effect on our individual and collective performance. Fatigue does not discriminate on any basis. The increased risk to personal injury and reduced workplace performance through fatigue is detrimental to the concept of ‘Navy – Safe to Fight’.
Joint Waka By Rebecca Quilliam
The Defence Force’s major exercise for the year, Southern Katipo, has been cancelled due to restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean the training stops. A series of amphibious training exercises, Joint Wakas, will be taking place in Whangaparaoa’s Army Bay and the Marlborough Sounds involving HMNZS CANTERBURY, No. 3 Squadron, the Deployable Joint Interagency Task Force and various NZ Army units. The training will culminate in a major table top war games exercise, aimed at testing operational-level planning. The first two Joint Wakas will be run back-to-back in September, with the third taking place in October, exercise planner Flight Lieutenant Alastair Brown says. “That’s going to involve a lot of NH90 training while embarked on HMNZS CANTERBURY. The primary goal for our air units involved in that is going to be pilot and crew currency and certification.” The exercise revolves around crews doing all the base-level training they need to stay current and safe around amphibious operations, with a number of take-offs, landings and refuelling around the ship, he said. “The Army’s 5 Movements Company will also be involved for load preparation and they will be the deployable logistic support. “A main goal for that exercise will be training for the different enablers working together,” FLTLT Brown says.
“All the units will be focussing on that core training they need to do to work together, such as knowing how each other speaks, what planning timeframes each group needs, what support they need and what they do if something goes wrong.” The third Joint Waka will bring in engagement with the Army’s 16th Field Regiment, the gunners, and 2nd Engineer Regiment, the battlefield engineers, he says. “This training will shift the focus from the enablers all being able to work together, to how do those enablers support other units. “So it’s all well and good with the NH90 knowing how to land and take off from CANTERBURY, but the next piece is how do we get people and equipment on board and how do we get that underslung helicopter on shore. That’s the next evolution.” The third exercise aims to add complexity and variables to the situation. “It’s about getting that training the unit needs to keep their own currencies and certifications going and remaining safe, competent and building towards that deployable level of capability that they otherwise may not have got, because there are no exercises left for the year.”
The final activity to round off the training will be the Command Post Exercise in November. The exercise will revolve around the JAOC (Joint Air Operations Centre), where all national and overseas air tasking deployments are planned. “But rather than the plane actually heading away, someone will be sitting at the Auckland Tactical Operations Centre receiving the order and planning as if it was a real scenario. “The headquarters is still receiving the information it should be receiving to test if they are putting up the right orders, people are getting the right messages and battle rhythms will be tested without having to put the fullscale burden on the force elements and field troops to go for a full-scale field exercise,” FLTLT Brown says. Another aspect of the final exercise will be to bring in pilots, navigators and crewmen across the services to learn how decisions in this environment are made behind the scenes. “This way they can get a good appreciation of where they sit in that chain, where their orders come from, where their reports go to, to build on the professional maturity of all three services.”
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Our People 1. ASCS Ioane Mitchell on the bridge of HMNZS OTAGO. 2. From left, AET Rainer Claussen, AWTR Madeleine Fryer, LEWS Jess-james Matekuare, LMT(P) Ashley Welsh and A/LLSS Ane Pahulu with Command Master Chief Andrew ‘AJ’ Tyler aboard USS GERMANTOWN.
3. HMNZS MATATAUA Defence Service Medal recipients, from left, AMT(P) Connor Cawley, AHSO Ana-Marie Conroy, ADR Luke Lambe and AHSO Matthew Putt, with CDR Mike Peebles, CO MATATAUA (centre). 4. Commanding Officer HMNZS CANTERBURY, CDR Martin Walker, presents LHST Luke Morris with the Sailor of the Quarter Award. During the same ceremony AHSO Erika Lennon and AHSO Katie de Jong were promoted to Able Rate. 5. Junior rates in HMNZS OTAGO relax over dinner after a day of work-up. 6. ACWS Jeremy Tant lowers the White Ensign as HMNZS HAWEA prepares to leave Devonport. 7. CDR Fiona Jameson, CO of HMNZS OTAGO, relaxes after a day of work-up. 8. LWTR Victoria Amosa, HMNZS OTAGO, is drilled in the use of the MARS-L rifle. 9. AMT(P) Brent Salisbury checks sensors during engineering drills in HMNZS HAWEA.
10. During a steering gear failure drill aboard HMNZS HAWEA, AMT(P) Jamie McInnes (left) communicates to the Engineering Officer of the Watch, while ASCS Cody Crump (right) coordinates emergency steering with the officer of the watch. 11. LCWS Janelle James and POCWS Andy James (now CPO) celebrate receiving their certificates of New Zealand citizenship. 12. LT Chris Tisdall, pictured with Naval Adviser CDR Tony Masters, completes his PWO course at HMS COLLINGWOOD, coming top of his class.
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Border Security NZ Customs tasked HAWEA to approach yachts and vessels capable of international travel, to confirm their status and intentions while New Zealand maintained a closed border policy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
HMNZS HAWEA has combined Officer of the Watch training during New Zealand’s border closures with a fact-finding mission on internationallycapable private vessels.
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The crew of the Inshore Patrol Vessel spent two weeks interviewing boat owners and crew, travelling from the Cavalli Islands, through the Bay of Islands, Hauraki Gulf, Great Barrier Island and down the east coast to the Bay of Plenty, as far as White Island. On their return to Auckland they continued the work in Whitianga and the Mercury Islands. Navigator Lieutenant Fletcher Slierendrecht says HAWEA would anchor or hold position and personnel in a seaboat would approach and interview boat crews. No boarding or contact was required. Sometimes HAWEA would contact the vessels by radio. “We used a set of questions from Customs,” says LT Slierendrecht. “We’d ask who they were, how many people on board, what was their last port of call, and when they were leaving.”
He says they did encounter some vessels that were in New Zealand past the time they told Customs they would be departing. “But that was because people were stuck, they weren’t able to go to places they said they were going, because of COVID-19. Every day, we’d contact Customs, give them a situation report. Anything that needed a query, we’d talk to Customs within an hour, and they would investigate further. But it seemed like it was something they were aware about.” HAWEA is the vessel junior officers train for their first qualification, the Officer of the Watch (Basic) course. It was a bonus to combine their training with an operation, says LT Slierendrecht.
KIWIS IN OTHER NAVIES
Engineering It’s more than just engines
Q: What inspired you towards engineering? A: I chose to study Engineering because I like problem solving and was strong at maths and sciences in high school. Q: What advice would you give a high school student thinking about an engineering career in the Navy?
Sub Lieutenant Francesca Hlavac, 23, serving aboard HMAS PARRAMATTA, talks to Navy Today about a career in marine engineering.
Q: Where are you from? A: I’m from Christchurch, I attended Christchurch Girl’s High School. Q: When did you join the Navy? A: I joined the Royal New Zealand Navy Volunteer Reserve (Chatham Scheme) in 2016 to study my degree and joined full time in 2019. Q: What is the Chatham Scheme? A: In my first year of university in 2015, I won the HMNZS CANTERBURY Scholarship for students from Canterbury Region studying at University of Canterbury, which paid my fees for that year. As part of this scholarship I was given the opportunity to sea-ride from Auckland to Wellington on HMNZS CANTERBURY. On that trip I learnt about the University Schemes available and subsequently joined in 2016. I was a Chatham Scheme Member so Navy paid my course costs and a living allowance while I studied at a university of my choice (University of Canterbury). I also was given opportunities for summer engineering work experience with the Navy to support my degree.
A: My advice would be to do your research and understand what a degree in Engineering actually provides. I almost didn’t study Mechanical Engineering because I had the misconception that you had to have heaps of practical experience already and know about cars and stuff. I was intimidated by this idea because I thought that most guys doing the degree would already have this experience and I would be disadvantaged. I was completely wrong! Through my degree I was given opportunities to learn the practical aspects of Engineering, and there are many people, both male and female, who won’t have that experience already. And that’s okay! Just don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know something, and use the people who already have experience to help you. More likely than not, someone else will also want the answer to that question. Also a degree in Mechanical Engineering covers so much more than just engines. At my university there was a huge focus on engineering design and product design, which suited my interests as I had done graphic design at high school. As for the Navy, if you are thinking about it, just do it! A job in the Navy provides a huge variety of challenges, ones you wouldn’t get in a regular engineering job, but that’s part of what I love about my job. It is very rewarding. Q: What else do you love about your job? A: The best part about my job is the people I get to work with. It sounds cheesy but the Navy really is just a big family and some of my closest friends are my workmates.
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A Wale of a Time
A HMS PRINCE OF WALES Experience
While exchanges between navies are invaluable for building skillsets and relationships, the serious need for qualified sailors crosses international lines. Navy Today explores how our sailors get to serve in partner navy ships.
By LTCDR Trent Nancekivell In January, five RNZN sailors were lucky enough to report for duty on board HMS PRINCE OF WALES. There were two chefs, two stewards, and a Principal Warfare Officer (PWO) who got to spend just under three months on board. After the usual issues around gaining access to a foreign naval base, we were confronted with the significant size of the ship. This was compounded by having both QUEEN ELIZABETH Class (QEC) carriers alongside Portsmouth at the same time. We were given three weeks and some hefty information booklets in order to complete our joining routine, and then set loose. For the first week it was simply an achievement to locate the scran hall, the mess, and our cabins! Being on board PRINCE OF WALES was a unique experience for us all, with a crew size of approximately 650, an overall length of 284m (making her the UK’s largest carrier) and at least 12 decks worth of stairs to climb from the main drag to the bridge. The departments were similar to what we had experienced back home, but the fact that the Royal Navy Steward
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From left, LSTD Jade Higham, LCH Danielle Swart, LTCDR Trent Nancekivell, ACH Hana-may Riedlinger-Kapa and LSTD Tylah Royden.
KIWIS IN OTHER NAVIES
HMS PRINCE OF WALES visits her homeport, Liverpool.
Branch was being incorporated into the galley meant that there were some different opportunities on offer. After careful consideration, the best way to describe every aspect of PRINCE OF WALES was with the word ‘immense’. After a short period alongside, we were all eager to get to sea, so once our sailing window was open we were away. After feeling dwarfed by the ship standing on the wharf, it was quite surreal for the ship to feel small when standing on the bridge at sea. The team quickly got into the routine, and with three galleys operating on a day-to-day basis there was plenty of work to be done. The PWO was busy corralling first-of-class trials with the engineers and civilian partners, while battling against winter conditions rolling through from the Atlantic Ocean. The ship experienced up to Force 7–8 conditions in the Irish Sea, and we could tell this because the ship was gently rocking.
After a period at sea, we had her home-port visit to Liverpool, and what an experience that was. Needless to say, our wallets were empty by the time we left. After the port visit we were back to sea for sea trials and first of class trials. The COVID-19 pandemic meant that we had to cut our trip short in order to get home before the borders closed, so we were sadly boat transferred ashore to meet a connecting flight. The opportunity for the exchange to PRINCE OF WALES was extremely valuable, and reinforced that a lot of what the RNZN does is right. Our organisation is small, but highly professional and able to adapt to any situation and thrive. Working on a platform the size of a QUEEN ELIZABETH-class aircraft carrier is a humbling experience and highlights just how complex our naval life is!
“ At the Ship’s Open to Visitors we were generally experiencing 20,000 visitors a day to the ship. Alongside this, the city laid on a wide variety of events for the Ship’s Company and we were all made very welcome.”
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Integrating with the US navy
USS GERMANTOWN Picture: US Navy
Working with other navies gives you a better appreciation of your own, says Sub Lieutenant Jake Hunt. SLT Hunt and five RNZN sailors were given a four-week searide opportunity, pre-COVID-19, aboard US Navy Landing Dock Ship USS GERMANTOWN, embarking from Japan. On board, each RNZN person had a daily schedule, ensuring they had similar working hours to their US ‘running mates’, who would direct them. The sailors were placed within familiar departments and trades, but there was plenty of flexibility, allowing them to enter different parts of the ship and see how the ship’s departments interacted. They could attend any evolution on the ship, including weapon firing, damage control, landing craft movements, bridge operations and ship’s ceremonies.
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It’s not about putting an RNZN sailor on a foreign ship and getting them to do the same job they do in New Zealand, says SLT Hunt. “Being on a foreign ship provides an environment where you are not expected to operate like every other person in your department. This leeway allows for better observation and exploration.” A basic taskbook, schedule and experienced host sailor helped guide the work day. “The freedom and flexibility to experience the entire ship and its evolutions is what made this trip so enjoyable.” SLT Hunt says exchanges are best suited to personnel with some months of ship and department time under their belt. He reckoned the Kiwis would have been able to fully integrate with the Ship's Company and work confidently by the end of the ride. “The Americans were very excited to have RNZN personnel onboard, as an exchange had not happened for some time. They were keen to show how they operated but were also genuinely interested in how we operated in comparison.”
It was an invaluable life experience, he says. “There’s more than 500 personnel onboard, with a large variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, beliefs, experiences and deployments. When we’re at home we have to focus on the work at hand, so it’s not often we’re able to experience every trade on a ship and its importance. It allowed us to look at the RNZN from a different perspective. All of us agreed we would jump at the opportunity to do it again.”
Above: From left, A/LLSS Ane Pahulu, AWTR Madeleine Fryer, AET Rainer Claussen, SLT Jake Hunt, LEWS Jess-james Matekuare and LMT(P) Ashley Welsh take in a tour of USS GERMANTOWN.
KIWIS IN OTHER NAVIES
How do our personnel get opportunities on other nations’ ships? Sea-riding An individual or a group can join a ship for a short-term stint. It is inherently about engagement, relationshipbuilding and exposure to other navies’ ways of doing things. One example is our personnel regularly sea-riding on USCGC POLAR STAR, a US Coast Guard icebreaker, to get experience of operating in Antarctic ice. This was valuable for future HMNZS AOTEAROA personnel, who will take the ship to McMurdo Sound. Sea-riding is often initiated at Navy-to-Navy talks, or via the Naval Advisor through connections in the host navy’s country.
Attachments Even the largest navies can have shortages of Suitably Qualified and Experienced Personnel (SQUEP). When that happens, they look to partner navies for help. Recently, British media have publicised the critical shortages in the Royal Navy in their chef and steward trades, which would potentially affect the operation of the RN’s newest aircraft carriers, HM Ships PRINCE OF WALES and QUEEN ELIZABETH. As a consequence, both ships have had RNZN personnel attached as they became operational. Exchanges like these can last months, and can potentially be a detriment to the RNZN. In providing chefs and stewards to QUEEN ELIZABETH, for example, some wardroom services at HMNZS PHILOMEL were reduced. But these exchanges are an opportunity to ‘balance the ledger’ with other navies, because we depend on the Royal Australian Navy, the Royal Navy and others to provide specialist training. Our warfare officers and weapon specialists
train at HMAS WATSON in Australia. The Maritime Warfare School at HMS COLLINGWOOD takes our warfare officers, explosive specialists, engineers, hydrographers and weapon specialists. And then there is the value of the exchange itself. RNZN personnel gain experience and sea time, while building relationships and enhancing New Zealand’s reputation. In attending overseas training establishments, personnel can undertake post-course consolidation in another navy’s ship. This is a matter for negotiation between nations, because every sea-going billet given to a RNZN officer or sailor is one less for the host country. Career managers get involved, determining how long a person can remain on exchange before returning to New Zealand to take up a post. Recently, both Lieutenant Commander Trent Nancekivell and Lieutenant Chris Tisdall topped their respective Principal Warfare Officers’ course at HMS COLLINGWOOD, earning them both a stint as PWO on board HMS PRINCE OF WALES.
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On detached duty in Canada Petty Officer Weapon Technician Matthew Poyntz has spent most of his naval career on Anzac frigates. He talks to Navy Today about the excitement of seeing HMNZS TE MANA modernised for 21st century warfare. In Esquimalt, Canada, there’s a small team of RNZN staff that walk the designated routes around HMNZS TE MANA’s decks. The familiar warship, in the process of its Frigate Systems Upgrade (FSU), is a construction site, and the access routes are arranged to minimise contact with other workers during Canada’s COVID-19 pandemic. The sailors are careful to follow them. Shipyard workers are cutting holes, pulling cables, and guiding cranes that lower the latest marvels of naval technology onto the ship. It’s exciting to watch, but the team’s focus is more holistic. Petty Officer Weapons Technician Matthew Poyntz is one of 14 members of the TE MANA Detachment (TEMDET), a team responsible for the local logistics, engineering and administrative functions required to maintain the necessary preserved and shutdown state throughout the FSU Industrial Phase, and ready for regeneration. TE MANA has had a small detachment working
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in Canada since the ship arrived in March 2019, with all of the staff now permanently based around Victoria and Esquimalt. Their work ranges from maintaining engines and the ship’s superstructure, to keeping the ship’s 5-inch gun in a well-preserved state. When the ship regenerates after its upgrade, everything has to work – both old and new. He arrived with a few new members in March 2020. TEMDET is also supporting HMNZS TE KAHA as she approaches completion of her upgrade. “Most of the personnel from TE KAHA were flown home due to COVID-19 to support RNZN responsibilities in New Zealand,” he says. “So we’re also working in support of our sister ship at the moment by supplementing their duty watch and providing some technicians to assist with breakdowns, maintenance and trials where possible.” It’s a daily role for his team, working to maintain equipment and undertake inspections. “It involves most machinery on board the ship, such as main engines,
“ Most of the personnel from TE KAHA were flown home due to COVID-19 to support RNZN responsibilities in New Zealand,” he says. “So we’re also working in support of our sister ship at the moment.”
WORKING DURING COVID-19 CANADA
generators, compressors, main armament, the sewage treatment plant and fire pumps.” Despite COVID-19 in Canada, the team hits the ground at 0800 each day at the shipyard. Personal Protective Equipment is typical of a construction site – hard hats, boots and safety glasses – and the contractors have control. “Where possible, we are keeping a two-metre separation. We take specified routes to minimise the incidence of people walking past each other.” A log of times and persons on board is kept in case there is an outbreak, and the team keep numbers of personnel in vehicles limited. He says the Canadians are just like Kiwis who sound a little different. “They are quite inquisitive about New Zealand, but social interaction is limited because COVID-19 restrictions happened soon after I arrived.” At time of writing, Canada had reported nearly 100,000 cases of COVID-19, but British Columbia was phasing in the re-opening of retail, health and hospitality services. It’s meant the team has been unable
to venture too far. “There’s no unnecessary travel, and even within Vancouver Island we are limited. There’s no large gatherings, and stores that are open have social distancing rules. “I’ve been getting out on foot and on bike. There’s an extensive amount of cycle paths and nature trails that lead to many lakes, nice scenery and wildlife. When I first arrived I was surprised to see wild deer in the vicinity of the accommodation, they are everywhere. There’s also been snakes, otters, birds of prey, woodpeckers, hummingbirds and squirrels.” POWT Poyntz will stay with TE MANA into 2021. “To me, it is very exciting to see her at this stage of the FSU project. It’s as though I get to see the process of my beloved TE MANA being given a new lease of life. The end result will be a ship with greater capabilities that are more relevant to the modern era.”
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Fighting to save the ship y Andrew Bonallack B Editor
Using your own body to plug a leak might seem futile, but every moment counts when you’re trying to stop a ship from sinking. Last month AOTEAROA’s Ship’s Company was put through a Damage Control refresher course, which included fighting to block hull leaks inside a rocking, dimly-lit compartment filling up with freezing cold water. Sea Safety Training Manager David Murray says the Damage Control Training Unit (DCTU) provokes some apprehension in those experiencing it for the first time. All sailors and junior officers do a two-week sea qualifying course, and during their careers all sailors and officers will conduct more
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advanced courses in damage control and firefighting. Regular refresher training is conducted on board by the ship's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Damage Control (CBRNDC) Instructors. The refresher training for ships at the Sea Safety Training School (SSTS) is normally conducted annually. This enables fire and water to be used which cannot be utilised on board. The DCTU has two lower compartments, with typical classes of 16 split into two. The sailors face a wartime scenario, which may include a missile attack or another form of a breach to the hull. “You have to realise, they are never going to stop the water completely,” says Mr Murray. “What we teach are techniques to slow the rate of water coming into the ship so the ship’s portable and fixed pumps can handle it. The first person to discover the leak puts their body against the hole and
raises the alarm to alert others. First aid attack teams will be followed by flood teams.” First aid could involve hammering tears of metal back into place, although this is simulated in the instruction. “They pound wooden wedges and plugs into the holes. Leak stopping devices are then used with lengths of timber to shore them into place. The team may also be required to rig portable pumps. Hopefully all of this will slow the ingress of water enough to save the ship.” The compartment is initially lit, but the lights may fail intermittently, or switch to emergency lighting. To add to the stress, the unit can rock from side to side, to simulate a ship wallowing in heavy seas. “One minute, you’re working in water up to your knees. The next minute, the unit flips, and the water rushes over, up to their waists.” The water never gets to the point where the team are swimming. “There’s a lot of safety points built in. The water would drain out when it reaches a certain level. We have regular drainage valves, and we also have emergency dump valves.” The sailors’ efforts may not achieve the desired outcome due to rustiness. “If it’s not working, we’ll stop and de-brief them. This is where you are going wrong – any ideas? We come up with a plan, then kick it off and repeat the exercise.” The AOTEAROA crew also refreshed their firefighting training, including use of breathing apparatus, hose drills and fire extinguishers.
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Return to the Barclay Islands y Andrew Bonallack B Editor
What would your judgement, communication and resilience be like after a week with minimal sleep? Exercise STORM puts our Junior Officers to the test.
At the Tamaki Leadership Centre on Whangaparaoa Peninsula, 24 officer trainees from JOCT 20/01 have returned to the ‘Barclay Islands’, a fictional and problematic country suffering from drought, storm damage and lack of fresh water. Now the troubled islands have been battered further by an earthquake and a tsumani. Add a number of mutually cranky ethnic groups to the mix, and it’s an interesting tightrope for the junior officers. JOCT 20/01 are acting as a Provincial Reconstruction Team, hypothetically working from HMNZS MANAWANUI. In their earlier mission, Exercise SQUALL, the junior officers were supposedly winning the hearts of the relatively peaceful and grateful Samaru Province locals while delivering medicine and supplies. However, they run afoul of an activist movement called the Samaru Independence League. The SIL feel the province has been ‘left out’ in terms of local government support, and view the arrival of military personnel from New Zealand as provocative. Their aggression eventually causes the withdrawal of the team. Now the team are back, in Exercise STORM, to deliver more aid. The effects of the earthquake and tsunami are bad enough, but the SIL are stronger, more aggressive. It’s going to be a long week. It’s a lifetime from the ‘barrels and planks’ problem-solving evolutions early in the JOCT course. Exercise STORM is about assessing the command and leadership potential of junior officers, against their ‘Lead Team’ learning, says Lieutenant Mark Littleton, JOCT instructor. “During STORM, the assessments get more complex,” he says. “At the start, they have one leader, they march from Point A to Point B, and have to do one task. By the end of the week, there’s
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three leaders, and there’s a lot of communication needed, to complete the mission as a group.” The JOCTs are armed, but can only act in self-defence. They are tested during the day and especially at night, with probing raids from the SIL. “Resilience is a big factor – you’re tested mentally and physically. It’s also about knowing the fatigue in your team. Communication is key. When everyone is well fed, well rested, you have one briefing. But over five days, with two hours sleep each night, you have to rebrief. It’s not that people don’t understand your instructions, it’s just that they are so fatigued. If you don’t rebrief, the consequences can be dire.” Tasks include establishing a forward operating base and helicopter landing sites, and creating a refugee camp. At one point, prisoners escape from a local prison after it is damaged in the earthquake. The team have to recapture the convicts and put them in a makeshift prison. Part way through, the team has to have their wits together for a media briefing. International press arrive in the Barclay Islands, looking for the drama. The team talks up the goodwill they’ve earned during their reconstruction efforts. Kiwis winning hearts in an ‘affected nation’ is a good angle. At the end, a hurricane is approaching, and the team take shelter for the night in the World War 2 tunnels that feature on Whangaparaoa Peninsula. “We wind them down with a history lesson on the tunnels,” says LT Littleton. “The following day, after a full night’s sleep, they clean up and head back to Devonport.
“ People had to react instantly, and when we pushed each other hard, supporting each other and backing each other, that felt really good.” ~ MID Cameron Maitland
Focus on the mission Midshipman Campbell Maitland, 19, still sounds like he really was in the Barclay Islands when speaking to Navy Today. He says despite the stress and fatigue, you had to concentrate on the “bigger picture”, the humanitarian needs of the country, while still keeping team morale up, and “just putting one foot in front of the other”. MID Maitland’s role was J2, in charge of intelligence and public relations. In this role he gathered information on the capabilities of the SIL and briefed the team. But the opposing forces were difficult to predict, with the team being harassed and confronted on a daily basis. “When we were transporting stores to different areas for humanitarian relief, we would have to take cover and engage. We had to develop our own operational
procedures on how we were to defend ourselves. At night, we’d have sentries on watch. Smoke devices would be activated near us. There were gun fights at night, so we’d have to boost the numbers of people on watch, so everyone was getting less and less sleep. We’d spend whole days walking up and down hills. You fell asleep where you could.” Lack of sleep reduced the team’s cognitive abilities. “People couldn’t say what they were thinking in their minds, they couldn’t put it into words. So writing notes became key, and a lot of repeating messages. It made us aware of what we might face in our careers.” MID Maitland was most proud of the way the team pushed each other, especially during the nights. “People had to react instantly, and when we pushed each other hard, supporting each other and backing each other, that felt really good. Every brief we’d say, okay team, we’re doing this so that people here can survive for the future.”
“It’s definitely a fun week – especially for the staff. The trainees all learn a lot about themselves, and it is rewarding as staff to watch their progress as leaders.”
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P H I L
M O N K
HALF-CENTURY OF DEFENCE y Andrew Bonallack B Editor
Phil Monk wanted to be a vet. But when his Dad died of leukaemia at 42, he joined the Navy. It was January 1967, pounds, shillings and pence were the currency, and his mother and four siblings needed the money. Last month, former Chief Petty Officer Stores Accountant Monk celebrated his retirement after nearly 53 years of service for the Defence Force, 20 of those as a sailor and over 30 years as a civilian employee at the Navy’s Kauri Point ammunition facility. Rear Admiral David Proctor called in to Kauri Point for the retirement function, noting that he had had a short posting to the facility as a young officer. He remembered Mr Monk as one of those who invested time in him and helped him towards the position he was in today. He presented Mr Monk with his certificate of service, and a framed board showing the cap tallies of the ships he had served on. Mr Monk was bequeathed Kauri Point’s model of frigate HMNZS OTAGO, a ship he served in. In turn, Mr Monk was delighted with RADM Proctor’s visit, commenting on what a “breath of fresh air” it was to have a supply officer achieve the Chief of Navy position.
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Mr Monk’s Navy days clearly have some colour, with humorous references to shore patrols and detentions. But he says he could have willingly finished his Navy career during his first day at sea. “I was in HMNZS LACHLAN, and I was just a young boy, 17, from Palmerston North. I was sick so many times, I thought, that was it, I’m leaving the Navy. It was just the smell of the diesel. If a boat had come alongside, I would have jumped off.” His favourite ship was HMNZS ENDEAVOUR II, the former Patapscoclass tanker that served the Royal New Zealand Navy between 1962 and 1971. “We would sail from here every Boxing Day, to Lyttelton and then Antarctica. They were horrendous journeys, real scary. I did it for three years. The American ice breakers would come to meet us, and smash through the ice to create a channel. We would berth at McMurdo, alongside where Scott’s hut is.” He was in HMNZS TARANAKI when the Air New Zealand DC10 was lost in Antarctica. “We were over the Chatham Rise, and we got told, head to Dunedin, fuel up, and head south. I think they thought we’d be rescuing people out of the water. I’d seen Erebus, I knew what had happened. Then they found the plane. I never forgot that, those poor buggers.”
He put his fondness for rugby to good use during his time at HMNZS IRIRANGI in Waiouru. The high altitude mean visiting teams would struggle. “Auckland teams would come down, and by half time they were panting. In contrast, when we would travel to play, people would wonder at our fitness.” He landed a stocktaker’s job at Kauri Point not long after leaving the Navy in 1987. “Since then it’s been a mission and journey involving some really neat people. What I’ve learnt from the Navy is how to be a team player. No matter who you are, what your rank is, get involved with sport and work. Become a team player and you will really enjoy life.” He says he is looking forward to retirement. “I turned 70 last week, and the body is saying, hey mate, I’m a bit sick of getting up at 4.45am. With COVID, people are losing their jobs, and now I’ve retired, there’s a job for someone. There are Army, Navy, Air Force and civilians here, it’s real multiservice. If you think services don’t get along, you should come here.”
Seven Times For the seventh time in a row, the Basic Common Trainees’ Leander Division have won the Efficiency Cup, this time with class BCT 20/01. The cup is awarded after a series of trials during the Directed Readiness Evaluation week for BCT Trainees at Tamaki Leadership Centre. BCT intakes are divided into two divisions, Leander and Achilles, with the latter’s last winning class being BCT 16/02.
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EOD Selection Board
Nominations for the New Zealand EOD Operator trade open 1 July 2020. EOD Selection November 2–6, 2020 New Zealand EOD Operators have an important role within the NZDF. Whether supporting the New Zealand Defence Force, New Zealand Police, or Special Operations Forces we must deliver precise results in sensitive, complex and challenging environments. Our people are innovative and agile. We are looking for NZDF personnel that are humble, disciplined, brook no sense of class and are committed to pursuing excellence. We need people who work well in a small team and can make decisions in complex situations. The EOD Operator Assessment Week is open to men and women from within the NZDF.
Successful civilian recruits
• Hold a rank of Private (Band 4), Leading Aircraftman or Able Seaman.
1. All Arms Recruit Course (AARC) July 2020.
• Have a full class one vehicle license
2. Basic Combat Engineer course. (8 weeks – Jan 2021)
• Hold a confidential vetting security clearance
3. Basic EOD course (12 weeks)
• Have a minimum medical grade of A4, G2, Z1 (RFL minimum G2)
4. Support Element Special Operations Training (2 Weeks)
• Complete the R-Series Tests 1–5. Administered during the assessment week and an evaluation by an NZDF psychologist as suitable to operate as an IEDD team member. Successful candidates will undergo the following training prior to posting to an EOD Response Troop in either Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch.
Successful NZDF recruits 1. Basic Combat Engineer course. (8 weeks – Jan 2021) 2. Basic EOD course (12 weeks) 3. Support Element Special Operations Training (2 Weeks)
Visit http://org/nzsof/LP/Recruiting. aspx for more information and to download your application.
Application AFNZ 3E 1. To be completed with comments from your Commanding Officer. 2. Forwarded to DACM and Squadron Sergeant Major E SQN no later than October 5, 2020. LENARD.BURLAND@nzdf.mil.nz DACM_S1_Matters@nzdf.mil.nz 3. Meet all the above minimum requirements. For further information please contact Warrant Officer Diver Len Burland, Squadron Sergeant Major E SQN.
Are you looking for a new challenge?
1 NZSAS Regt Support Enablers
As part of 1 NZSAS Regt, Support Enablers are the personnel tasked with supporting capability through specialist logistical, medical, signals and intelligence input throughout the full spectrum of operations.
To express interest in becoming a 1 NZSAS Regt Support Enabler, please:
As logisticians, medics, signalers and intelligence analysts our goals are to enhance, enable and empower 1 NZSAS Regt by increasing capability depth through specialist knowledge in all combat support areas ranging from the front lines through to sustaining operations. Our selection is made up of a two week package called Support Enabler Special Operations Training (SESOT) and is designed to test and integrate all enablers into the Special Operations family. It is mentally and physically rewarding and the friends you make are for life.
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•S ubmit an AFNZ49 with the posting preference to Support Squadron, 1 NZSAS Regt through your CoC to DACM. •E nsure that you are physically and deployable as well as a trusted team player. Any questions you may have on SESOT, what a support enabler does or what it is like living in Auckland can be sent to SASRec@nzdf.mil.nz and someone will get back to you.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
A concrete mystery
When I was young and irresponsible, I would carve and scratch my initials on tree trunks and the wooden walls of bus stops as a record of me having passed that way. That was all a long time ago and those marks of mine are gone now, but there is a mark left by a New Zealand sailor in a faraway part of the world that will last for a hundred years or more. I’ve never been able to find out who he was or what he was doing there 47 years ago. In 1959–1961, I was an Apprentice at HMS CALEDONIA, the Royal Navy’s Artificer Training Establishment in Scotland. During each term, we would go on an expedition, often amongst the mountains, valleys and rivers of the highlands. One of the places that we would go to was Rannoch Moor, which was in the vicinity of Scheihallion, Cairngorm and Ben Lawers. There we would set off in groups of four and follow a route set by the marine sergeant. We would use an empty old
stone building as a base, which had once been a mill. It was situated in a remote location on the southern shore of Loch Rannoch. In 2014, I was in Scotland nearby with time to spare, so out of curiosity I took a drive along the country road to see if the old mill building was still there, which it was, and now privately owned and refurbished as a lakeside holiday home. The owner was there doing some odd jobs, so I introduced myself and explained who I was and why I had come so far to see the old building. We had quite a long chat and he told me what he knew about the history of his home and was very interested to hear about what I knew, which unfortunately wasn't very much. He showed me around his house and was particularly curious about a marking on the outside wall, where pebbles had been set into concrete to leave a permanent record of the visit by, obviously, a kiwi sailor. He asked me if I knew anything about it but it was well after my time there and I had no idea who did it and I still don’t. Since then, I have been trying amongst my Navy mates to find out who it was that made his mark on the wall of a remote building in Scotland. So far, without any success. Someone, somewhere must know, and I hope the Navy Today magazine may help to find him. Geoffrey Ockleston East Coast Bays, R.S.A.
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