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Command Warrant Officer Profiles

In November 2008, the first Warrant Officer Appointments Board was held to manage career progression and development for RNZAF Warrant Officers. Command Warrant Officer positions are all significant leadership roles that will play a crucial part of shaping the RNZAF to meet the challenges ahead. Over the next few AFN issues we will be profiling the new Command Warrant Officers, their history, career highlights and the way ahead in their new appointments.

W/O Dave Lark

W/O Dave Lark. AK-09-0355-001.
W/O Dave Lark

I enlisted in 1980, trained to be a Chef, and completed London City & Guilds /1 & /2. In 1993 I remustered to the Air Ordnance trade at No. 5 Squadron. I completed 13 years as a Chef then 13 years flying when I was posted to Base Operations, but I have now returned to No. 5 Squadron as the Command Warrant Officer.

There have been far too many highlights throughout my career to mention in this short article but one which easily comes to mind is the people I have met, from not only within the RNZAF, but the NZDF, other military people around the world, along with friends from external sports and social events.

The role of Command Warrant Officer was bantered around a few years now and I will admit it did take me a while to understand what that the position would entail on a Squadron. On a Squadron morale, welfare and discipline are generally intertwined and a slip in one of these areas will possibly affect the others, including the health and safety of the individual and the unit itself. For this fact I see these areas as some of the most important in terms of moving the Squadron forward which it has to do with the introduction of the P3K2 aircraft.

Assisting the Commanding Officer over the next few years is important as the introduction of the P3K2 is no doubt going to place a lot of burden and stress on all 5 Squadron members including our families along with all support personnel who assist getting our asset into the air.

Making sure every Squadron member is aware of the values we are bound by is important. If we can all live by these values 24/7 then we will all be better people for ourselves, our families and society. Obviously there is the occasional slip up by individuals but reducing how many times or how many people do fall off the edge is part of the education I will be enforcing.

Gaining the trust of all 5 Squadron members is my first priority along with getting the feel for how the Squadron is functioning before looking at ways to improve the Squadron. I do have a motto that everyone needs to enjoy what they do and if this involves introducing some down time to refresh and invigorate then I will make sure this eventuates.

After 29 years of service I have never regretted my parents pushing me towards the Air Force and out of the three Services I know I definitely joined the right one. The next few years will be a new challenge to me in making sure the intent for us crusty Command Warrant Officers is upheld. This is, though, just another challenge in life which comes with many and unfortunately not all at regular intervals.

The future of the RNZAF is in good hands if the youth who have recently joined are an indication. Watering and nurturing them while letting them push forward safely will allow me to look back in many years noting that our people are the best in the world.

W/O Phil Webley

W/O Phil Webley. WB-09-0147-01.
W/O Phil Webley

I was born in Wellington and received all of my primary and secondary education at local schools. I joined the Air Force in 1980 as a Firefighter. After Primary Trade Training I was posted to Ohakea. My next posting was to Auckland where I held various trade appointments. I was promoted to Warrant Officer in March 2000 and was appointed Flight Commander Fire Flight and Base Fire Master. While in Auckland I got involved in sport parachuting. I have completed over 2000 jumps and represented New Zealand at World Championships in Australia and France. In-between work, family commitments and parachuting I was also a member of the Kumeu volunteer fire brigade. I served with them for 11 years and rose through the ranks to eventually attain the rank of Deputy Chief Fire Officer. In January 2006 I was posted to Woodbourne and appointed Chief Instructor at NCO Training Flight. It was an exciting time to be involved in the delivery of new NCO promotion courses and work with a small team of extremely professional and dedicated instructors. This was the most challenging position I have ever held but also the most rewarding; definitely the highlight of my career so far. In May this year I was appointed as Command Warrant Officer for Ground Training Wing. I am very enthusiastic about this appointment and the challenges I will face while working in the strategic environment.

Image Gallery - Issue 105