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HMNZS TE KAHA GOES TO SEA CHARITY GOODS TO TONGA MATATAUA GOES SUB-ZERO
ALL-ACTION WITH JOINT WAKA
Contents 04 Exercise JOINT WAKA
27 HMNZS MANAWANUI crosses the line
10 New recruits collected up
28 Operation GRAPPLE
12 HMNZS TE KAHA goes to sea
32 Boxing on board
14 Delivery to Tonga
35 Powerlifting for endurance
23 57 years with WO Reece Golding
“ It makes me incredibly proud
to represent New Zealand like this, with the ability to deploy to anywhere in the South Pacific with a credible capability.” ~ Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Bannister, Executive Officer HMNZS CANTERBURY
04 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
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10 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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Front cover: The CAT938K prepares to roll out its FAUN trackway, having just disembarked from one of HMNZS CANTERBURY's landing craft. Photographer: PO Chris Weissenborn
Yours Aye Chief of the Navy
Their work is critical to our border protection, and they will be away from home for between 8 to 16 weeks – an unusual tasking for primarily ODs, ABs and LHs, where they are leading their own mini deployments. Additionally, my thanks goes not just to the sailors directly involved, but also to those of you who are picking up additional workload covering for those on OP PROTECT. And of course my thanks also goes to the whānau of all our sailors who are away from home in support of our mission ‘to advance New Zealand’s Interests from the sea’. In the case of COVID-19 this has many sailors executing their duty on the land… demonstrating the flexibility, adaptability and professionalism of RNZN sailors.
COVID-19 continues to dominate the international and domestic landscape, albeit this month’s general election is a new feature here at home. Regarding COVID-19, the NZDF’s overall commitment to OP PROTECT has exceeded 1200 personnel, undertaking duties in defence of New Zealand and her borders, to protect our citizens and their welfare. I make a special mention of the junior sailors who are providing security in our ports.
“ In the case of COVID-19 this has many sailors executing their duty on the land… demonstrating the flexibility, adaptability and professionalism of RNZN sailors.”
But there is a whole lot of other stuff I want to recognise this month. Firstly, to the new sailors joining our Navy as BCT 20/02; thank you for taking on the challenge at this unique time. As I write this article, things are looking positive for us being able to hold the traditional Family Church Service in October, enabling you to show off to your whānau your new found competence and confidence. As I near the end of my career, I am envious of the future you have – as I told you at attestation, I would do it all again! That brings me to the second point I draw attention to, the story on Warrant Officer Reece Golding as he takes off the uniform after over 57 years in a blue suit. Phenomenal! Mr Golding was formative in my development as a sailor, being the Officer Training School Coxswain when I was a Midshipman. And then, as he did for many, many sailors, he provided guidance and support throughout my career. Indeed his note to me as he rejoined the ‘big ship’ was still one of support and encouragement, while softly guiding and challenging me to do a little bit more. A true professional. As Chief of Navy, Mr Golding, thank you for your service. As a shipmate, Reece, thank you for the laughs… next ‘wet’ is on you! The penultimate point I would like to draw attention to is a ‘mixxyblob’ of great stuff the Fleet is doing. I am exceptionally happy that HMNZS TE KAHA is at sea this month,
undertaking various tests and trials of her upgraded combat capability. I am confident I speak for the entire RNZN community in saying we are all looking forward to seeing her back in New Zealand as soon as possible, prior to deploying next year in support of maintaining a free global commons for all nations, advancing New Zealand’s interests from the sea. I note that it has been 10 years since the Navy Museum moved to its new home at Torpedo Bay, where they continue their great work to preserve our Navy’s history. Later, in this Navy Today you will read about the new Navy Museum photographic display of OP GRAPPLE – the 1950s British nuclear test program; and what HMNZS MANAWANUI and HMNZS MATATAUA have been doing in Tonga and in preparation for Antarctica. Their activity reminds us that despite the unique challenges of the moment, both at home and overseas, the navy has continued to operate in support of our more traditional maritime mission. I close with a small, but important, celebratory and congratulatory note. Since we started our campaign in support of being a ‘smoke free’ Navy, a recent survey shows we have made great progress. At the start, we were the service that had the highest percentage of smokers – over 15%. Recent data shows we are now ‘second’ and have dipped below 10%. We are well on the way to achieving our target. Well done! Take care everyone - and my continued thanks to all who serve and their whānau. He hēramana ahau.
Rear Admiral David Proctor Chief of Navy
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ADVANCE ON THE BEACH
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The Defence Force’s amphibious capability takes a leap forward as we test our latest beach recovery vehicle during Exercise JOINT WAKA at Whangaparaoa. Navy Today editor Andrew Bonallack joined HMNZS CANTERBURY and 5 Movements Company to watch the action. Navy Today #248 | 5
This page: The Beach Preparation and Recovery Vehicle departs HMNZS CANTERBURY, steered by TerraCat contractor Omar Statham. Opposite page: PTE Vicki Viljoen, 5 Movements Coy, indicates the depth as the CAT 938K FAUN mat dispenser prepares to drive off the LCM. LT Josh Morete, Amphibious Beach Team commander, watches on.
The concentration is evident on the face of Omar Statham, contractor for plant machinery company TerraCat, as he stands near the cab of his company’s latest innovation for the New Zealand Defence Force. He’s in the cargo deck of HMNZS CANTERBURY, wearing a life jacket and fluoro vest and staring at the open stern ramp and the expanse of choppy water between the anchored ship and Army Bay, Whangaparaoa. The ship is all action, readying for the amphibious landing phase of Exercise JOINT WAKA. There’s a lot of “if you don’t need to be here, move back to that line”. Mr Statham will drive a substantially adapted 18.2-tonne CAT 555D Forestry Skidder from the cargo deck to one of CANTERBURY’s two Landing Craft Medium (LCM), once it’s
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married to the stern ramp. The huge skidder, named the Beach Preparation and Recovery Vehicle (BPRV), has never been to sea and has never done this manoeuvre. “Nice and slow”, were the closing words from the ship’s Executive Officer in the briefing the night before. It’s unlikely Mr Statham needs reminding. So he stares at the exit, and plenty of sailors and soldiers do as well, making pessimistic comparisons about the gap between two steel blocks on the stern ramp – buffers for the LCM’s ramp – and the substantial fourmetre wheel base of the BPRV. We’re told there is enough room – 65mm clearance on either side – and that was only made possible by putting on slimmer tyres than usual. But to a casual observer it doesn’t look doable.
The BPRV, one of two, is the culmination of nearly three years of planning and engineering by the Defence Force’s Capability Branch and TerraCat. Forestry skidders are used to push and drag logs, and it’s those strength elements that make the 275hp BPRV so useful, says Warrant Officer Class 2 John Flintoft. In a Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) situation, such as a Pacific Island damaged by a hurricane, the BPRV can be deployed ashore to “smooth the way”, pushing a path through cyclone debris, towing heavy items clear or helping to re-float beached landing craft from the ‘surf zone’ back into safe water. A forestry skidder normally has a massive grappling hook at one end, but it’s not needed for a BPRV. “What we’ve done is re-engineer this, to suit
EXERCISE JOINT WAKA
the task. There’s a big 18-tonne winch at the rear, and a 13-tonne winch at the front. You drive it using joy sticks. Young operators pick it up really easily. It can be used in 1.5 metres of water.” The driver can rotate the seat so that front becomes back, and camera screens in the cab provide views of blind spots. It includes a 360-degree view of the entire vehicle from directly overhead. Above the driver is an escape hatch, should the vehicle ever roll over. Waiting behind the BPRV in the cargo deck is another behemoth, the CAT 938K loader with a FAUN trackway dispenser attached to the front. Also one of two, it was the first-phase vehicle in the overall Logistics Over The Shore (LOTS) project that Capability Branch started in 2015. Unlike its newer cousin, it has been
used by CANTERBURY before. The 20-tonne CAT 938K can roll out a modular aluminium trackway, 40 metres long, and can deliver more lengths to roll out and connect to the first. This allows less robust trucks to drive onto a beach with less risk of becoming bogged – although if they do, the BPRV is already on shore and can assist. “We’ve proved the BPRV on land,” says WO2 Flintoft. “Now we do the maritime part, and that’s the exciting part. There’s a bit of apprehension – as there’s only a little bit of clearance on the ramp. Omar will be in the cab, and I’m on the ground, giving him hand signals.” Captain Wayne Small, Capability Branch, says an Amphibious Beach Team (ABT) from 5 Movements Company will head ashore with the
BPRV. “The ABT will let us know what the conditions are like at the beach, and identify whether the land is suitable. Normally, if this was a HADR situation, we would likely be joined with an advance force of hydrographers and divers from HMNZS MATATAUA doing beach reconnaissance.” The Landing Craft comes in, ready to be secured to the stern ramp. There’s a 35-knot wind and the sea is bouncy. To complicate matters, No. 3 Squadron flight crews in two NH90 helicopters are running continual landing and departure serials from the flight deck above, plus practising picking up underslung loads. The downdraft from an NH90 is substantial, capable of pushing a LCM off its course, and the LCM coxswains have to time their approach. There are the usual jokes about the Air Force
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“ We train to be ready for cyclone season. It’s great to have this beach where we can work with CANTERBURY.”
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setting the tempo while others wait, but the tri-service cooperation is invaluable and the experience useful. In a HADR situation, helicopters would be running constantly. Mr Statham starts the engine and eases the BPRV down the ramp, neatly threading the gap. The front wheels drive on the LCM, and after a short pause Mr Statham guns the engines, to climb the slope caused by the weight. The front wheels of the BPRV carry six tonnes, while the rear wheels bear 12 tonnes, and the disparity rocks the LCM. CANTERBURY’s marine engineers have already conducted detailed stability calculations to find its best position on the LCM, and the BPRV finds its chalk-marked spot.
Reaching Army Bay, the Amphibious Beach Team has to wade ashore, while the BPRV makes short work of driving off. It’s now the ABT’s job to prepare the beach, setting up beach marker panels to guide follow-up LCMs. Next off the ship is the FAUN trackway dispenser, then a Pinzgauer troop carrier, driving over the newly-laid aluminium trackway. Lieutenant Josh Morete, the ABT commander with 5 Movements Company, says every beach has its own challenges. “With this beach, the tide comes in really fast, and you have to adapt to it, and make changes on the fly.
EXERCISE JOINT WAKA
Previous page: The Amphibious Beach Team coordinate the unrolling of the FAUN beach mat. This page: The LCM, holding a well-secured Beach Preparation and Recovery Vehicle, approaches HMNZS CANTERBURY.
“If something happened in the islands, we would be required to assist, embark on CANTERBURY, and get stores pushed across the beach. We train to be ready for cyclone season. It’s great to have this beach where we can work with CANTERBURY. And having all three services in one place, it feels more alive.” Waiting on shore is a special attachment for the BPRV, an extension block with rubber pads. Soldiers bolt it onto the BPRV’s blade, and the BPRV is pointed towards the LCM, which has been deliberately grounded. It only takes a slight push, and the LCM floats back like a paper boat. It’s another tick in the box for the BPRV’s first sea trial.
Lieutenant Commander Jonny Bannister, CANTERBURY’s Executive Officer, says he loves the amphibious work. “It’s when we get to do exercises like this where all three services are working together, with excellent professional people all joining in to deliver a fantastic capability.” From 23 October, cyclone season starts, with CANTERBURY on 24-hours notice to respond to a HADR call in the South Pacific. In that instance the ship’s captain, Commander Martin Walker, would become the task group commander for all three services, says LTCDR Bannister. “We’re using significant pieces of equipment, like the beach trackway, and the BPRV. People
thought it would be touch and go, with that gap. But the best thing of all was seeing the contractors watching 2.5 years of work come to fruition, to see their vehicle drive off a LCM and do what it’s designed to do.” Amphibious operations are a complex business. “It makes me incredibly proud to represent New Zealand like this, with the ability to deploy to anywhere in the South Pacific with a credible capability to support any of our island nation partners, should any of them be unfortunate enough to be struck by a cyclone.”
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Trainees flown in Auckland’s COVID-19 restrictions during August meant some juggling for the arrival of this year’s second intake of Basic Common Trainees.
The usual pattern of arrival involves recruits arriving at the gates at Devonport Naval Base on a Sunday, often with their parents, to be processed by Defence Recruiting and welcomed onto the base. But with New Zealand at Level 2, and Auckland at Level 3 at the time, entry into Auckland needed to be more controlled. An RNZAF Boeing 757 was tasked to collect 36 recruits from Dunedin, Christchurch, Blenheim and Wellington, while buses were put on to collect around 30 recruits from the remaining North Island regions. Recruits within Auckland and Manukau were also picked up by bus. In all, 103 recruits made up the initial numbers of the BCT 20/02 intake. Sanaa Tupuivao, 18, could appreciate the differences, as it was her second time entering Basic Common Training. During week five of BCT 20/01 she broke her finger, meaning she had to withdraw. This was all before COVID-19 arrived in New Zealand. “I was really disappointed to leave,” she says, speaking from Wellington. “It’s not just about not finishing, but leaving all my mates. You make good friends. But the staff were really good. They encouraged me to come back and I knew I was going to. I’m really excited to get back into it.”
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William Matheson, 23, is a former Air and Army cadet and guessed they’d be flown to Auckland. “How else were we going to go up during Level 3?” He was excited about the training ahead. “You never know what happens until you get there.” Hillary Holland, 19, will enter the chef trade after BCT. “I was over the moon to be selected,” she says. “It was a bit frustrating with dates being pushed around, but you understood why.” She doesn’t know what training will be like, and was excited and nervous. She had wanted to be a chef since she was young, and is already well-prepared, having done Level 3 cookery at Weltec. “This is a new chapter in life.”
NEW RECRUITS ROUNDED UP
With social gatherings in public still at a minimum, the attestation ceremony – normally at the Navy Museum – was held in the hangar of HMNZS AOTEAROA. In front of the Chief of Navy, the recruits declared an oath to the Royal New Zealand Navy, receiving an entirely waterproof Bible if they wished, and returned to barracks to sign their attestation forms. The natural establishment of training classes, or messdecks, lends itself to ‘bubbles’ of up to 20 recruits each. This was utilised to a high degree by the previous 2020 intake during the Level 4 lockdown, with instructors maintaining social distancing and wearing Personal Protective Equipment. Under Auckland’s Level 2 status, this intake will also function in classes but has the freedom to combine while contained within a training environment on base. There is no second intake of Junior Officers this year, owing to COVID disrupting the officer selection process.
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HMNZS TE KAHA AT SEA On 7 September HMNZS TE KAHA left Esquimalt Harbour under her own power for the beginning of her sea trials period. It was a big milestone for the Frigate Systems Upgrade team in Canada. Since 2018, TE KAHA – followed by HMNZS TE MANA – has been undergoing its upgrade by Lockheed Martin Canada. Very evident in this aerial image are the new fore and aft masts, boasting new radars, electronic detection equipment, laser warning system and aircraft identification system. The sea trials focussed on getting TE KAHA’s plant, including two diesels and a gas turbine engine, operating smoothly, as well as some testing and calibration of some of the new electronics systems. In total, TE KAHA will undertake seven weeks at sea conducting trials, which increased in complexity as the ship put all its new hardware to the test. At time of writing, the ship was looking forward to working with a jet aircraft to verify tracking sensors and the firing of the ship’s main armament, her MK45 five-inch gun.
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Medical supplies to Tonga The Commanding Officer of HMNZS MANAWANUI says he was delighted to deliver a container of medical supplies to Tonga as part of the ship’s voyage from Hawaii – but that container had to be grey.
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DELIVERY TO TONGA
MANAWANUI, returning from the two-week-long Exercise RIMPAC, made a contactless logistical stop at Nuku’alofa on 15 September. It required diplomatic clearances from Tongan authorities and coordination with the New Zealand High Commission to meet strict Tongan COVID-19 regulations. Auckland charity “Take My Hands” collects usable medical equipment and resources that can no longer be used in New Zealand and redistributes them to organisations in need in the Asia-Pacific region. The container had medical trolleys, paediatric cots, hospital beds, baby warmers, mattresses, a wheelchair, bed linen, scrubs and gloves, and a specialised stand for an ultra-sound machine. It is the first time a Navy ship has assisted the charity, says Take My Hands founder and trustee Janette Searle. They usually work with commercial companies with spare space and capacity, or utilise containers at a discounted rate – anything to keep the costs down.
“The equipment is for Vaiola Hospital. The obstetrics department have an ultra-sound machine but needed a stand. The cots and baby warmers are for the paediatrics department. We’ve packed that container like Tetris, fitting in the scrubs, gloves and linen.” “We’re about supporting the Pacific, but also about minimising waste in New Zealand, using equipment that would have gone into a landfill. For commercial companies, sharing storage with us means they contribute to sustainability.” To date, the charity has distributed over 114 tonnes of equipment to nine different countries. A container usually stays with a ship, but Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola, Chief Executive of the Tongan Ministry of Health, said the hospital purchased this one to convert into a medical workshop. “We are very pleased to receive this consignment from Take My Hands and we are grateful for the support from the Royal New Zealand Navy.”
Lieutenant Commander Andy Mahoney, MANAWANUI’s Commanding Officer, said he is “beyond pleased” it all came together, after becoming aware of the charity last year. “I saw what they strived to support, and I couldn’t help thinking about NZDF’s commitment to the Pacific Reset programme and Manawanui’s planned deployment for Exercise RIMPAC.” However, as a dedicated Principal Warfare Officer, a bright blue container just wouldn’t do. The crew painted the container grey during a quiet moment in Pearl Harbor. “We were going to be operating at RIMPAC, with a lot of photographs being taken. I thought a grey container would be much more appropriate on the back of a grey warship.” He also wanted the container, which looked a bit “tired”, to look nicer for Vaiola Hospital. Ms Searle says she would love to work with the Navy again. “I’m a big fan of cross-sector collaboration, all working together, doing what they are expert at. When that happens, amazing things happen.”
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Safety – Everyone’s Responsibility y Commander Raymond McLaughlin B Director of Naval Safety and Health
In the Navy, many of us routinely work in challenging and hazardous environments. The NZDF has a moral and legal obligation to look after our people and minimise the risk of harm.
To support this obligation, in November this year the NZDF will introduce an NZDF-wide safety reporting and risk management tool – the SEMT (Safety Event Management Tool). While the tool is new, the principles behind it have been in place for some time. The new tool will make it easier for everyone to take a proactive part in making the Navy and ultimately NZDF a safer place to work. The SEMT will be the place for you to report a safety event (such as an incident or accident, or a safety concern). It will also provide one place for entering and viewing safety risk assessments. NAVOSH has been working closely with the Directorate of Safety during the design and development of the SEMT. We wanted to ensure that the SEMT will fit Navy’s specific safety requirements. Over the next few months, you will see more information about the SEMT. Look out for presentations and activities.
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To find out more about the SEMT, visit the SEMT information page on DIXS. You can find this page via the ILP, then Directorate of Safety under the HQNZDF menu at the top of the page. If you want to talk to someone in your area about safety or the SEMT, feel free to contact NAVOSH. What about deployed ships? During periods of deployment, ships will continue to use N-SHAIR. Events recorded in N-SHAIR will then be transferred to the SEMT so that we have a complete picture of Naval Safety in one place. Anyone who can log on to DIXS will have access to the SEMT Landing Page, which will be customised to show items just for them.
AOTEAROA Interesting Fact No. 2
Berthing a Navy vessel is one of those times when the bridge team really earn their money. Most ships do not have the advantages of dive hydrographic vessel HMNZS MANAWANUI, with its dynamic positioning system utilising azimuth thrusters down aft and tunnel thrusters up for’ard. It means MANAWANUI can literally move sideways.
For starters, she too has a large bow thruster. She also has twin propellers and twin rudders. The propellers are what is known as Controllable Pitch Propellers (CPP), or Variable Pitch Propellers. It means the angle the blades slice through the water can be altered, even to the point where they cause a reverse motion, all without changing the direction of rotation of the engine. One propeller could be pitched differently to the other, to the extreme situation where
one could be angled for forward motion, and the other for astern. The rudders themselves have an extra ‘flap’ on the trailing edge of each rudder, similar to the trim flaps on a plane. This can allow for fine manoeuvring adjustments, as well as support a tighter turning radius for big turns. When combined, these make AOTEAROA highly manoeuvrable, especially for a 26,000 tonne tanker.
But it was evident in the smoothness of HMNZS AOTEAROA’s arrival and berthing on 26 June at Calliope Wharf that the 26,000-tonne vessel has some advantages over older vessels.
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Our People 1. BCT 20/02 trainees practise ‘picking up the log’ at Tamaki Leadership Centre, Whangaparaoa. 2. LT Jesse Samuel (left) catches up with colleagues in the cargo deck of HMNZS CANTERBURY. 3. OCSS Deanne Read prepares to sound ‘Wakey Wakey’ from the bridge of HMNZS CANTERBURY. 4. Chief of Navy RADM David Proctor and OSTD Amber Younger share the cake-cutting for the Navy’s 79th birthday, hosted at St Christopher’s Chapel, Devonport Naval Base. 5. CDRE Melissa Ross, Deputy Chief of Navy, chats to David Fenton, President of the NZ Malayan Veterans’ Association, during the 60th Anniversary commemorations of the Malayan Emergency, at Pukeahu National War Memorial in Wellington. 6. OMT Ethan Wilson, with binoculars, is among sailors tasked with assisting NZ Customs in Lyttleton Port for two months, as part of the Government response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 7. CAPT Shane Arndell receives his first clasp to his Armed Forces Award from Chief of Navy RADM David Proctor, indicating 30 years’ service. 8. POSCS Emily Maxwell pilots one of HMNZS CANTERBURY’s Landing Craft to shore during Exercise JOINT WAKA.
9. HMNZS MATATAUA’s Executive Officer, LTCDR Phil Rowe, displays his AHA course completion certificate. 10. MID Navitalai Vukitu (Fiji), SLT Daniel Williams, SLT Angus Graves and MID Esafe Vuki (Tonga) enjoy a game of Uckers in HMNZS CANTERBURY’s wardroom.
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Former Commanding Officer teaches our future leaders y LTCDR Damian Gibbs, B Training Lead, Bridge Warfare Officers Course During my 15-year career with the Royal New Zealand Navy, I was privileged and honoured to have held the command of HMNZS WELLINGTON and HMNZS TAUPO and during my time I considered the people I worked with as my other whānau. I recently left the Navy and have now joined Serco. Serco is a leader in technology such as artificial intelligence (AI). Now my new whānau – Serco – is working alongside my RNZN whānau in kotahitanga (unity) to support the current and future requirements of the NZDF in the training environment within the Navigation Training Group. When I was approached about a role with Serco I paused to consider the opportunity: I felt that I would be able to leverage my seagoing experience and give back to the Warfare Officers’ community and ultimately the RNZN. Coming into the Training Lead role has given me the opportunity to fulfil this desire to give back, and importantly, continue to contribute directly to the strategic requirements of the RNZN and wider NZDF. I’m now responsible for delivering the Bridge Warfare Officer Course (BWOC), leading and working with a team of dedicated and specialist instructors from both Serco and RNZN. The first BWOC course began in January, using the RNZN Bridge
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Simulator to train officers in advanced navigation and warfare theory and its practical application. Seeing young officers learn, grow and develop into capable Bridge Watchkeeping officers, able to support a ship in any environment, is extremely rewarding. Even more rewarding is knowing that I’ve been a part of shaping and supporting those officers’ growth and progress in their careers. A key function of BWOC is enabling BWO students to learn their role as a Bridge Watchkeeper, supporting Command in all warfare including Anti-Surface, Anti-Aircraft and AntiSubmarine Warfare Core mariner skills BWO students must be proficient in consort control in both open and confined waters and boat operations with a focus towards maritime interdiction operations. Also important is Bridge Resource Management and the ability to effectively lead, manage and support subordinates, peers and Command in advanced navigation techniques and skills, including astronomical navigation, relative velocity and effective ship handling. Defence Reserve Days Most recently I’ve been able to use Serco’s Defence Reserve Days policy which has allowed me to support the RNZN back in uniform as Lieutenant Commander Gibbs. This
allowed me to provide some support to the Navigation Training Group in assessment of some of the students on the Basic Officer of the Watch Course. Earlier this year, I attached to HMNZS HAWEA for a week as the Assessing Officer for the first of the Basic Officer of the Watch 20/1 Course sea phases. It was great seeing the students at the end of arguably the toughest course in a GLX officer’s career. It was pleasing to see a range of good performances and to award MID Nicola Dearnley and MID Alexander Titmuss their Basic Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate (seven officers in total successfully graduated from Officer of the Watch Course). I look forward to seeing these and the rest of the GLX course cohort on BWOC once they have consolidated their qualification at sea. I’m excited with the possibilities of working for Serco and alongside the RNZN in the rewarding training area. I’m committed to providing excellence within the Navigation Training Group environment and supporting the next generation of Bridge Watchkeepers. I hope they achieve the same enjoyment and career satisfaction that I had in that role and continue to have as a trainer.
MATATAUA ON ICE
MATATAUA ON ICE
T Gin Atkinson, L Operations Officer, HMNZS MATATAUA
“Hukapapa” translates to ‘ice’ or ‘frost’, and that is exactly what a team of Hydrographers and Divers from HMNZS MATATAUA encountered as they embarked on a long training exercise at Lake Alta in the Remarkables mountain range near Queenstown.
The aim for the week was to test our survey and underwater search equipment to see how the gear would react to an extreme cold weather environment. Lake Alta was the perfect location for this, being accessible from Queenstown, and having a thick layer of ice over a sufficiently deep lake. This is in preparation for a survey tasking at Scott Base, Antarctica, where the team hope to deploy later this year. A deployment to Antarctica would be a first for MATATAUA, so we called on the experts at Antarctica New Zealand to help us work in the cold environment, and to provide us with some extreme cold weather clothing – for which we were truly grateful! We also weren’t sure how REMUS, our Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), would react to working underneath a layer of surface ice, so we gave the Police Dive Squad a call to see if they would be interested in a combined training exercise. This would have the benefits of providing the opportunity for some ice dive training for them, as well as us having a helping hand nearby to recover the AUV if it decided to get temporarily misplaced under the ice.
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After some careful planning, personnel from MATATAUA joined members of the Police Dive Squad, as well as a team from Antarctica New Zealand in Queenstown to embark on a week-long stint of training. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but the Police Dive Squad members soon had us sorted with a couple of holes cut into the ice, and some shelters to work under. Under the watchful eye of Antarctica New Zealand field instructors, we were able to safely conduct a series of equipment tests with both our Remotely Operated Vehicle and AUV – all whilst learning that the ice around an ice hole gets extremely slippery when wet! Luckily, we had no mishaps, and the only people entering the water were the police divers, with the proper attire, of course. The whole exercise was a resounding success, albeit with a little help from the divers once or twice to recover an adrift REMUS. We were also excited to receive a visit from the Maritime Component Commander (MCC), Commodore Mat Williams, later in the week, and were able to demonstrate to him how well the equipment was coping in the cold environment.
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The Remarkables ski field is one of the best ‘offices’ I’ve worked in, especially as the ski field itself was closed during the week and we effectively had the whole place to ourselves. We also managed to transit to and from work each day in a few different styles – including Ski-Doo, snow groomer, helicopter, and down the ski field sliding on plastic sheets (even MCC had a go at this one!). After a long week of equipment trials it was time to pack up and return to Auckland, which was a little different as the city had since been put into level three lockdown. We would like to sincerely thank the teams from Antarctica New Zealand, the Remarkables Ski Field, Southern Lake Helicopters, and especially the Police Dive Squad, who made the exercise possible in the first place. After living and dining with us for a week, the Squad had one final recommendation: “Always deploy with a Navy chef, the most important member of the team!”
57 YEARS WITH WO REECE GOLDING
57 Years, 7 months – A lifetime of Naval Service My time is up, says Warrant Officer Seaman Combat Specialist Reece Golding MNZM, MSM. In sincere gratitude to the service he values, and to the wider NZDF, WOSCS Golding pens his farewell to his Navy community.
My naval service commenced on completion of 4th form year at Putaruru High School, and finishes with my retirement as a Warrant Officer, MNZM, MSM at HMNZS NGAPONA sub-unit (Tauranga). In reflection, our family were all engaged in the NZ Armed Forces; both Grandfathers serving in Gallipoli and the Western Front respectively. In World War 2, my father was a WO2 serving in Greece, North Africa and Italy with 26 Battalion, NZEF and 8th Army. There was an uncle in the RNZAF, serving in the Pacific theatre on Bougainville. In modern times, I have had a brother in the RNZN, a son with the RNZAF and elder son who is still serving as a Navy Captain. Collectively we are a family who has significantly contributed to the NZDF. Looking back, I have had many highlights, starting with a family day at sea in 1958 in HMNZS ROYALIST. I was 12 years old at the time. The cruiser ventured out into the Hauraki Gulf for a day and conducted as I remember, many evolutions as well as live firing the stag anti-aircraft guns. However, it was the quality of food at time that attracted me to the Navy; it was awesome and still is throughout the Navy. I recall I was like Oliver Twist, please sir, can I have some more. Joining the RNZN in 1963, the final winter intake on Motuihe Island (The Rock) was a challenging experience. I took aboard the advice from a ‘sea dad’ to “zip it up and keep your head down” and was rewarded for my endurance by receiving the Cleland
Challenge Cup, awarded for the best all-round Seaman Boy. After a period of sea time in HMNZS PUKAKI, I went on to top my Basic Branch Training (BBT) as a Underwater Weapons specialist (UW – mines, torpedoes and demolitions) which set me on course to success – Commander Auckland at the time posted all high flyers to Whitby-class frigates. I was posted to HMNZS OTAGO where I remained for the next six years, deploying to Pearl Harbor for ship and crew battle assessment, before entering the Indonesia Confrontation (1963-66) as part of the Commonwealth Forces. One could say I was thrown in the deep end as a relative youngster. However, the Navy family ensured nurturing, training and a wide range of recreational programmes were available to balance the serious side of why we were there. In my case, boys grew up quickly and came home to New Zealand as men, with wideranging life skills. Typical of evolving technology, my branch choice was made redundant. I was provided with the option to either return home to retrain as a Weapon Mechanic (WM), or remain on board OTAGO and be trained a gunner. Having previously experienced what serving in a ship had to offer, I stayed on board and eventually ended up in the Gunnery Branch. I was just breaking into the ship’s 1st XV Rugby Team, was a member of the Māori Concert Party and later in Singapore I passed my Diving Course to become a member of the ship’s Dive Team.
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A collection of WOSCS Golding's images of training at Motuihe Island, 1963.
Life was great, with travel, new experiences, sport, while developing skills as a leader, especially around seamanship where I eventually became the Chief Bosuns Mate (Buffer) of the ship for the final commission. Overall, I spent 13.5 years in OTAGO, The Mighty “O”. I served in a range of ships in New Zealand coastal waters, including HMNZS LACHLAN. As a temporary Petty Officer, lowering six-ton survey boats by hand, in the northern extremities of Chart NZ 41, under the watchful eye of CBM Soul Whaanga, (Uncle Soul) was formidable. If there were ever a need for clear concise orders and team work, that proved to be the most testing situation. Fishery Protection, Search and Rescue roles and other tasks ordered by the government provided a wide range of deployment in minesweepers HMNZS KIAMA and HMNZS INVERELL, where I held senior management positions (CBM), with a brief posting to HMNZS WAIKATO as Whole Ship Coordinator (WSC) before taking shore-based employment as a Recruiter in Tauranga. The area covered the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Central Plateau and Gisborne East Cape area. Through my previous experiences at sea, I was able to sell
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the Navy dream with conviction; that passion still remains although the Navy has changed from my day. The ethos is the same, working in teams at sea, lots of laughter, fun and travel. Sport is essential for wellbeing in the Navy. I was selected as a Combined Services Representative in Sailing and Harriers (Cross Country) and this feat has to be one of my highlights. Any sports code participation, whether competitive or for fun, is desirable. I eventually ran marathons in favour of team sports, contributing in two RNZN Fundraising (RNZN Marae & Charity Club) relays the length and breadth of New Zealand. My posting to HMNZS MONOWAI as conversion and delivery management team to Scott Lithgow shipyards in Scotland was a highlight, primarily because I was working as part of a commercial contract ship build, where everyone in the advanced party had an integral part in delivering new hydrographic technology and capability for the Navy. My service career would have been cut short had I not taken a position in Wellington – Naval Staff. The analogy of trading a marlinspike for a pen was certainly a big step up, but I soon learnt that senior officers in Naval
Staff were human and they provided encouragement in order to learn policy. For me, the most interesting – but also challenging – was managing the Defence Commitments Program for the RNZN. During that time, I was fortunate to visit the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Royal Navy (RN) training establishments, setting up development courses for RNZN personnel. I was also privileged to represent the RNZN at the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, landing at Arromanche Beach (Gold) from HMS FEARLESS’ helicopter before being driven to Omaha Beach, Normandy where the formal commemoration took place. Managing the Mutual Aid Program (MAP) and RNZN Antarctica Program provided the opportunity to visit the southern-most continent in USCG Cutter POLAR SEA. A truly spiritual place. I returned to recruiting towards the end of my Regular Force naval career, and while never brilliant at public speaking, had a real passion in what I believed to be a career less ordinary, that offered opportunity. During my tenure I managed to convince many that service in the Navy was noble, rewarding and for some, could be long-lasting.
57 YEARS WITH WO REECE GOLDING
“ I credit my learnings and development in the RNZN for being able to fulfil these demanding roles.” For many sailors when their time is up, especially those who through no fault of their own have given everything to the service they love, they can find the transition into civilian life traumatic. There is a fear of failure and trepidation to take the next step. By joining the RNZN Volunteer Reserves (RNZNVR), that organisation offered me a seamless transition into civilian employment while maintaining a positive relationship with the Navy. When MV RENA grounded on Astrolabe Reef, creating a maritime catastrophe by spilling oil along the pristine shoreline in the wider Bay of Plenty and beyond, a successful application to Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) resulted in my appointment as Incident Command Centre (ICC) Manager. Four months later once the MV RENA emergency was over, as RENA Response Advisor (Tauranga), I provided vessel salvage regulatory oversight to MNZ in Wellington. I credit my learnings and development in the RNZN for being able to fulfil these demanding roles. When the international salvage companies completed their tasks, a NZ salvage company was engaged (NZ Diving & Salvage) to complete the fine cleaning of the reef. What started out as a 4-month temporary job, ended up lasting 4.5 years.
During that time, I paraded with NGAPONA (Tauranga), a sub-unit of HMNZS NGAPONA. Looking back on my nine years’ service with the Tauranga Unit, it gave me a platform to continue with the organisation I cherish, in which hopefully I contributed positively and enjoyed the professionalism and camaraderie of the Tauranga team, the wider NGAPONA group and RNZNVR Officers and Sailors. Now my time is up. I completed 49 years Regular Navy service and nine years and seven months in the RNZNVR. I know that I owe the RNZN so much for the boy I was in 1963, to the person l am now. I have given back as much as I could and through my passion, innovation and endeavour, have helped provide many of the Navy’s fresh faces, good people, people with the same passion as I myself. No doubt their contribution will endure. Never the “Old Salt” but nonetheless long-serving, I have been guided by the Navy values throughout my career: Courage, Commitment, Comradeship and Integrity. Haere rā, farewell, good bye; My life is certainly richer for my RNZN experience.
His farewell article is dedicated to his mother, Jean Esma Scott, 97, who traces her ancestry back to Captain John Kinnear, an officer in a Scottish Regiment, present in the battle of Corunna when Sir John Moore was killed by French Napoleonic forces.
Clockwise from left: MV RENA grounded on Astrolabe Reef; WOSCS Golding aboard a salvage vessel; MV RENA's accommodation block is lifted from the sea.
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Opening of the Canterbury Room y Dianne Fowler, B HMNZS PEGASUS administrator
The Commanding Officer, HMNZS PEGASUS and her Ship’s Company hosted a function for local dignitaries and friends of the Navy on the evening of Thursday 10 September. This function was held not only to “open” the Canterbury Room (formally known as the Theatrette) but to showcase the Navy in Canterbury and to foster our relationships within the local community. The background to the renaming was the donation of a model of HMNZS CANTERBURY (F421), generously offered by Mr Malcolm Taylor, who crafted the model in his workshop in Canterbury.
Above: Christchurch modelmaker Malcolm Taylor and CDR Peter Kempster unveil Mr Taylor’s model of HMNZS CANTERBURY (F421).
For reasons unknown the PEGASUS lecture rooms have always been referred to as the Theatrette, which was an awkward and clumsy title. The Resident Naval Officer, Christchurch at the time, Commander Andy Hogg RNZNR suggested we position the model in the lecture rooms, and rename the room. The function was originally planned to be held in March 2020, but due to the COVID-19 restrictions was postponed until September. Luckily due to a smaller than usual guest list (due to the size of the room) we were able to complete our planning as we fell well under the 100 person limit under Level Two. Our principal guests, apart from Mr & Mrs Taylor, were the last Commanding Officer of HMNZS CANTERBURY (F421), Commander Peter Kempster, RNZN and the new Assistant Chief of Navy (Delivery), Captain Shane Arndell RNZN. Activities during the night included a Ceremonial Sunset, with
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Left: The Commanding Officer of HMNZS PEGASUS, LTCDR Zoe Brangwin, RNZNVR, chats with Mr Taylor.
an armed Guard; the naming of the Canterbury Room; acknowledgement of the refurbished metal PEGASUS crest by Mr Cameron Taffs, (NZDF Recruiting) and the presentation of the Defence Service Medal to one of our former ship mates, Sub Lieutenant Rebecca Smeele, RNZN (currently the Fleet Sports Officer) and the Territorial Clasp to the Defence Service Medal to Leading Electronic Technician Iain Martin. To finish off the official portion of the evening, CAPT Arndell gave a quick update on all matters Navy, telling the audience about the new ships, the
frigates and Operation PROTECT, the Defence Force contribution to the COVID-19 response. Recognising and celebrating the involvement and support of Canterbury businesses, Naval Reserve personnel’s employers and the people of Christchurch remain a major focus of HMNZS PEGASUS and the Naval community in the South Island.
CROSSING THE LINE
Crossing the line ‘Crossing the line’, the expression for crossing over the equator while at sea, was taken to a rather exacting and rare level during HMNZS MANAWANUI’s return to New Zealand. The ship crossed both the northern, southern, eastern and western hemispheres at the same time, intersecting the geographical position 0 degrees latitude and 180 degrees longitude – also the international date line. In fact, thanks to the ship’s Dynamic Positioning capability, she was able to stop and hold this position exactly, while the crew conducted the age-old mariners’ tradition of ‘crossing the line’, in which sailors dress up and pay homage to King Neptune and his Royal Court.
In modern times, those whom have not yet ‘crossed’ are referred to as ‘tadpoles’ or ‘pollywogs’ and remain so until they have been summoned to appear before King Neptune and his Royal court. Once summoned, the tadpoles and pollywogs earn the status of ‘shellback’ in recognition of their ‘crossing’ and experience. In this instance, the crew of MANAWANUI become ‘Golden Shellbacks’ because of the rare status of crossing at the 180th meridian. In order to maximise this navigational feat, the Dynamic Positioning Officer placed the ‘centre of rotation’ of the ship on the exact latitude and longitude of the intersection. The centre of rotation selected was the centre of the flight deck. This meant that personnel were now able to walk through all hemispheres in a matter of seconds, lay on deck with an arm and leg in each hemisphere, and speak to their shipmates in each ‘corner’ of the earth. Not to be outdone, the MANAWANUI Māori Cultural Group took the opportunity to conduct a performance in all corners of the globe. After the ceremonies and novelty of being at the intersection of hemispheres had quietened down, the Ship’s Company enjoyed a swim on the equator and typical New Zealandstyled barbeque on the working deck. This enabled all to reflect on the festivities of the day and to look back on a positive deployment.
Crossing all hemispheres
0° latitude 180° longitude + crossing the international dateline
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Operation Grapple We were there “ It took 45 seconds for the bomb to fall and it was like lying outside on a cloudy day, then the sun comes out and you can feel the warmth. You could see the bones of your hands like an x-ray when the bomb went off. After 15 seconds we stood up and the bomb was a big fireball. You couldn’t look straight at it as it was so bright. There were loud cracks and this dead silence…except for the birds. The birds were squawking, flying around blinded.” ~ Able Seaman Radar Operator Gerald ‘Gerry’ Wright (retired as LTCDR)
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Left to Right: Photographer Denise Baynham with veteran Brian Harnor in Tauranga. The mushroom cloud as seen from HMNZS PUKAKI. Veteran Roy Sefton in his living room.
Auckland professional photographer Denise Baynham is in the final stages of preparing for the opening of her Operation Grapple portrait exhibition when she gets a phone call. Neil, a Navy veteran, asks if he can be part of the story. Denise pauses for a moment. She is nearly out of money and this will require a flight to Blenheim and a drive to Nelson. She assures Neil she will visit him and takes down his details. Neil is the 19th Navy veteran interviewed and photographed for the Operation Grapple – We Were There exhibition, on now at the Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy in Devonport. Operation Grapple was a series of nuclear tests – involving both atomic and hydrogen bombs – conducted in the mid-Pacific by the British Government from May 1957 to September 1958. The Government assisted Britain by sending hydrographic ship HMNZS LACHLAN to survey the two islands chosen as testing sites, and two Loch-class frigates, HMNZ Ships ROTOITI and PUKAKI, to act as weather ships during the testing itself.
emotional journey. In my 17 years as a photographer I have done a huge variety of work, but this is the project I am most proud of, the one that has really touched my heart.” The idea started at the Navy Museum, when Denise and her husband were visiting with their three children. “I read about Operation Grapple and I was just completely transfixed. Incredibly saddened, equally horrified and intrigued. This was something I didn’t know about, and not a lot of people know about it, it seems. I thought that as a photographer I could humanise this story through portraits of these veterans in their own environment, and combine it with their recollections in their own words. I believe photographs tell really powerful stories, and it makes their accounts very relatable.”
Today, the New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans Association (NZNTVA) lobbies on behalf of sailors and their families, who say they have generational medical issues as a result of the nuclear tests. It’s taken Denise nearly two years to photograph and interview veterans around New Zealand who were at Operation Grapple. It was 1,400kms covered in road trips, and eight flights. “It’s been a big undertaking, and the biggest reward has been the
Denise began tracking down veterans with the help of the NZNTVA. For the interviews and photos, she briefed the veterans first, explaining she would be photographing them in their homes. “I told them, we’re not doing this on a mobile phone. I’m bringing camera equipment and lighting, and I’ll be with you for a good two hours or more.” She asked the veterans to wear their medals and dress as if they were going to an Anzac Day parade. Some interviews took longer, and she ended up well-versed in Navy terminology. “They loved talking and showing me their own photos and mementoes. I got a chance to see these men, and see who they have become, 60 years later.” Denise says a lot of her subjects have spent many years trying to get recognition. “I didn’t want to leave out
anyone who had put up their hand. They wholeheartedly welcomed me into their lives, and their stories are intense and incredibly sad. I felt very privileged and a real responsibility to tell their story well, and tell it accurately. They were such unique individuals.” What struck her was the “mixed bag” of recollections from their experiences. “There was that love of Navy life, that real camaraderie that shone through even after 60 years. But mixed in was that fear. They were at the forefront of science, but they were scared when it happened. They remember hearing the pilot talking to the ship, hearing the countdown, being told to cover their eyes. Some of them witnessed nine detonations.” The exhibition opened last month at the Navy Museum, and will run until 11 December. “I have loved working with the museum. They have really embraced this with huge enthusiasm. They have paid homage to the veterans, and let me do my thing. “I feel incredibly grateful to the Navy Museum and the Napier RSA who covered the costs of mounting and framing the photographs. It was important for me to be able to present the portraits in their best manner, so it was great to have assistance with this final hurdle in the project.” Denise would like to have the exhibition travel around New Zealand, and is exploring options. “I have tried to impress on my kids, it’s the importance of remembering history, and it’s really important to hand down stories.”
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Making your ship unique When New Zealand went into Level 4 lockdown, people looked around for projects to occupy themselves. Lieutenant Commander Cam Field, HMNZS MANAWANUI’s Marine Engineer Officer, built the ship’s wardroom bar top. LTCDR Field has been with the ship since she was still the newlypurchased Norwegian survey vessel MV EDDA FONN, undergoing refit in Denmark. Being a former civilian ship, it had no wardroom or messes. “Spaces for those were identified and allocated, and we worked to have these areas furnished and made comfortable. In a wardroom, this involves a fridge, and I decided that instead of having a fridge with no top on, I would create something special for the ship.” He opted for a bar top created from manuka wood-rounds set in resin, something he had never done before. The surface is 1.3 metres long and half a metre wide, 20mm deep. It took six litres of resin and hardener, which makes it fairly weighty. “The manuka appealed to me because it was relatively straight and it had a number of weta channels through it, which I thought would add a good
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effect. I used a water clear casting resin, a really easy product to use considering this was my first casting project. I also used a bar top selflevelling resin, which gives it that ultrasmooth, shiny but resilient surface.” Learning as he went, LTCDR Field cut all the timber into discs and laid them in a boxed frame. “The resin pour was completed in two batches until enough resin was used to cover the timber. The Commanding Officer kindly donated a ship’s crest which I was able to set into the table top, making it unique. After a small amount of sanding and shaping, I poured over the self-levelling resin. That requires no sanding or polishing to finish the product.” The process took a few months, as he was only able to grab a few hours here and there. “Another challenge was that resin doesn’t like cold temperatures, and tends to ‘blush’ or cloud, which wouldn’t give the clear appearance I wanted. This meant I had to pour the resin during the warmer part of the day and then use lamps to keep the resin warm as it set.” There wasn’t any kind of ceremony for the new top, because no-one knew he was making it. “I snuck the bar top in during the last week of our maintenance period, before we were scheduled to go to sea. It was a bit of surprise for everyone. I’m proud of the things I make but I don’t like fanfare – it’s not why I created it.”
While a resin pour was a first for him, he had done plenty of fitting and turning in his Marine Technician training before he commissioned. “So far I have made a kayak, dining table, outdoor table, bookshelves, children’s furniture and toys. There is something satisfying about creating something practical to use every day.” LTCDR Field has now been with MANAWANUI for two years and will post off this year. “I remember on the first day, how we didn’t have a building or office to work from, so we commandeered a building on base due for demolition. Fast-forward two years, and we’ve built up a Ship’s Company, conducted initial training and delivery, commissioned the ship, been through multiple maintenance and customisation periods, learnt how to operate the ship in all of its modes, used the crane and survey system to achieve operational release of humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities, and are now participating in RIMPAC.” He says the best memories will be the crew he’s served with. “I’ve been fortunate enough to lead a talented and motivated group of engineers who have helped transform this ship from a commercial vessel to a Naval warship, while making it fun and reminding me what a unique job we do. What I have helped achieve will hopefully set MANAWANUI up for a long and successful service to New Zealand. The bar top is probably something that represents this well. Hopefully it will remain with the ship until decommissioning, and maybe it will find its way back to me.”
Honorary Captains y Sir Ron Carter ONZ, KNZM, B Honorary Captain from 1 October 1998
In last month’s Navy Today we explained the concept of the Honorary Captain, a practice revived in 1993 by Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Fred Wilson. In the first of a series, we introduce our current Honorary Captains.
My career has been as a Consulting Engineer and as a founding partner of Beca Carter Hollings and Ferner, now known as Beca. I have had three links to Navy. One, through my firm which has designed a number of engineering facilities for Navy; another, recently, as a participating business leader in the Officer Leadership Programme. A third connection has been my role as a Trustee of the Sir Peter Blake Trust (SPBT)and Chairman of the Blake Leader Selection Panel. A Navy Officer has been a recipient of a Leadership Award and the Navy have developed a close supporting relationship with SPBT for Leadership, much of which developed during my role with the Trust. In the 1960s, I was the structural design engineer for the “Engineer Manager’s Workshop” – a large prestressed concrete building which is still in use and houses some of New Zealand's largest steel working machinery. After a stint overseas, on my return and during my role as CEO and Chairman of Beca Carter Hollings and Ferner, my firm was commissioned to design two facilities at Ngataringa Bay – the damage control training centre and the patrol vessel ship lift structures. When the tenders were called for the design of the Anzac frigates, BCHF supported the successful tenderer with specific Naval knowledge – some of which we had acquired through hiring ex-RNZN engineering officers
to strengthen our knowledge. The Anzac Contract required the building of a platform training centre – rather similar to a flight simulator. The tender by Transfield offered an alternative to the specified trainer which required the building on-shore installation of engines, propulsion controls, steering mechanisms – housed in an on-shore building to produce the machinery operation information supplied to the mock bridge in the trainer. In our design, analogue instruments on the bridge showed mechanical information generated by synthetic computerbased techniques – as exact replicas of information that would be supplied from ships engines, gear boxes etc. This was the first such ship simulator that we are aware of. It resulted in major savings from the machine-based shore equipment. To provide this service I was responsible for setting up a New Zealand joint venture with Science Applications Corporation, a USA design company that services the US Defence Department and for high level management of the service. Beca and SAIC staff designed the software that drove the system. Although I am now retired from Beca, my involvement with Navy goes back for over 50 years! I remain proud of the service I supplied to the Navy. I understand that Beca remains one of the trusted and secure sources of engineering support for the RNZN, and the Ministry of Defence for other branches of the NZ Defence Force.
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Give it your all, give it your best When Deanne Read joined the Navy, being able to pursue her love of boxing while serving New Zealand was a big drawcard.
But Ordinary Combat System Specialist Read has since learned just how behind her the Navy is overall, after being supported through a boxing injury, and then her pregnancy. OCSS Read, currently posted to HMNZS CANTERBURY, had big plans in 2018. She was fighting welterweight in the Amateur World Boxing Championships in India and was working on her Olympic qualifications. But food poisoning struck her down in India, and she picked up a back injury that wouldn’t go away. She became pregnant later in the year. She needed to take time away with her husband to focus on her newborn son, and seek physiotherapy for her back.
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“It was a huge process, to figure out what the issue was, and I’m still seeing a chiropractor every month to manage it,” she says. She posted to CANTERBURY just after her son – Samuel – had his first birthday. “It’s exciting to be on the ship, getting into things.” She’s sparring with other crewmembers, getting her fitness up while helping those who are interested in the sport. “If there’s someone that wants to learn, I’m happy to help other people.” Boxing is a hard sport, she says. “It’s a mental game, and it’s challenged me in different ways, which has extended into my career. I pushed myself – and a lot of my doctors – to come on ship, because it’s important to me to get into my job, learn my job and be efficient in it, just like my sport. I’m enjoying my role. You don’t go into your job half pie. You give it your all, give it your best, so you can be the best.”
The Navy were very supportive, she says. “If there’s something going on, a lot of things in the background hitting you, they help you get back. When I was pregnant, they gave me time to attend appointments. They support you mentally and emotionally. I applied for a year off, and I came back two months early, to get some sea time experience. They helped me quite a bit, and you want to give back, to prove you aren’t just sitting back.” It’s not easy, but nothing big is ever easy, she says. “Sometimes it’s how you take things on. Enjoy every second of it, regardless of the situation. I joined the Navy because they were supportive of sports. But they are supportive of a lot of things.”
BOXING ON BOARD
One of OCSS Read’s sparring partners in CANTERBURY is a sailor who participates in corporate boxing events in Auckland. Ordinary Steward Anora Leautuli Talitonu, who joined the Navy in 2019, enjoys the space in CANTERBURY for sparring, but says training is all up to the individual. “All you need is a little bit of space, a little bit of flat ground, and you can train.” He’s delighted that OCSS Read is a shipmate, though. “She’s the real deal.”
for charity. The evening’s lineup often includes more experienced amateurs, and possibly a professional bout as a drawcard. “People post events, hire a venue, hit up local gyms and the boxers, to see who wants to fight.” OSTD Leautuli Talitonu, from South Auckland, joined the Navy for an opportunity to do something different. “Before this, I was doing factory work. I always knew the Navy was around. I saw a recruiting poster and thought, yeah, let’s give that a go.”
The Samoan heavyweight has been boxing for two years and took it up as a good outlet for his energy. Corporate fights involve amateurs or beginners who participate at boxing events in front of an audience, often
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Medical consult a video call away The runner-up in a Navy innovation competition has seen his idea of iPad medical consultations come to life during a trial in HMNZS MANAWANUI. Leading Medic Kurt Neustroski, posted to MANAWANUI during the ship’s deployment to Exercise RIMPAC, come up with the idea last year of making iPads available for shipborne medics. As well as using them to electronically store easilysearchable medical instructions, he proposed iPads for making video calls to a Medical Officer or consultant in New Zealand, to help with a diagnosis. During RIMPAC he was able to trial the idea, taking advantage of MANAWANUI’s welfare Wi-Fi capability, the only ship in the fleet to boast it. As it happened, MANAWANUI did have a Medical Officer on board, but not a specialist in physiotherapy, the field they needed.
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“ The patients love it. It’s allowed me and the medical team to have confidence we are providing the best treatment for our crew on board. This project also has a bright future He said it was a huge success and a if this concept is milestone in the “iPads for medics” trial. released to the wider medical community.” “We were able to connect to the Physiotherapist at Defence Health Centre at Devonport via videoteleconferencing to ensure our crew members were able to get the best care possible while away from Devonport, but in turn also protect them from COVID-19 as it was no longer necessary to seek external consultancy in a foreign port.” He said the quality was pixelated, but clear enough to see what the physiotherapist was explaining. “The audio was also clear and easily understood. We did have issues where we lost connectivity with the satellite, but this is common and was expected. We were able to resume the consult once reconnected with the satellite.”
POWERLIFTING FOR ENDURANCE
Multiple benefits with powerlifting
In the right circumstances, lifting over 100kg feels pretty easy to Commander Ange Holland. The Commanding Officer of HMNZS PHILOMEL has been doing powerlifting for just over a year, initially pursuing the sport as a means of developing strength to overcome a significant leg injury. She has now taken four national records and enjoys the benefits the regime gives to her other endurance activities. Powerlifting is a strength sport that involves three short lifts: a squat, bench press and dead lift. CDR Holland’s gym, ACTN3 gym in Browns Bay, is aligned with the international powerlifting federation, the Global Powerlifting Committee (GPC).
“I had torn my hamstring, had it reconstructed and was in constant pain,” she says. “Josh Bleakley, the owner of the gym and my coach, said considering my power to weight ratio, powerlifting might suit me and would help rebuild strength in my hamstrings again. It had never crossed my mind before. I like going to the gym, but I had only ever used it to get stronger for multisport or running, rather than a specific competitive-type stuff. I thought, okay, I will give it a go.” Mr Bleakley set up an individual programme to suit her age and weight class – under 60kg. She has built up to the point where she competes, taking national GPC records for her age and weight class during a regional competition in July. “When I first started, I wanted to squat 50kg. Now I’ve reached 62.5kg. With a bench press I’m lifting 50kg and 102.5kg on the dead lift.”
Her advice to others is give it a go. “You can’t lose. It’s safer than cross fit, safer than weight lifting. It’s a chance to enjoy lifting weights, have a bit of fun, and be around people that enjoy it. The only person you are competing with is yourself.” Fitness is a big part of her life, she says. She uses running to clear her head and think deeply. But after taking up powerlifting, she’s found her running endurance is greater. “I did the Tarawera 50km ultramarathon. After I finished, I thought, I could have kept on going. Next day, I was fine. No soreness at all.” Navy personnel will get a chance to see powerlifting first hand when the Fleet Gym at PHILOMEL hosts the GPC national competition this month. CDR Holland will be competing. “My trainer came out and had a look at the gym and said it would be a perfect venue.”
She was thrilled to dead-lift over 100kg. “You get three attempts at your lifts. I did 97.5 and it felt easy. I went to 102.5kg, still felt really easy.”
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“ After 30 years in uniform and two packs a day, I made the call to give up! I won’t say it was easy. I tried many times, but I knew the smokes were killing me. Now I’m clean. I’m also fitter, healthier and with a better sense of smell and taste. If you’re still trying to give up, keep trying. It’s worth it.” ~M organ Proctor, Director, Supply Chain Management, Defence Logistics Command
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