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New Year Honours awarded to five NZDF personnel

MCC Tony Parr tn
Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Tony Parr, has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).

Five New Zealand Defence Force personnel were among the New Zealanders named in this year’s New Year Honours. Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Tony Parr, has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM). Since his appointment as Chief of Navy in May 2009, RA Parr has overseen the successful introduction into service of the new ships of Project Protector Fleet. Over his 32 year naval career, he has held a range of staff and command appointments at sea and ashore and has consistently performed in a superior and exemplary manner providing leadership and direction.

The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) has been awarded to four NZDF personnel.

Colonel John Boswell deployed to Afghanistan in April 2010 as the Commanding Officer of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT) in Bamyan. He initiated the development of a strategic plan to transition from a military-led operation to a civilian-led and finally Afghan managed operation. The first stage of the transition occurred in June 2010, when leadership of the NZPRT passed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade with the appointment of a civilian director, without disruption to ongoing operations.

Squadron Leader Keith Bartlett was posted to the Orion P-3 Systems Upgrade Project in Greenville Texas in 2008. At the time of the posting, he had no time to qualify as an Orion Qualified Flight Instructor. His deployment was continually extended due to unforeseen aircraft flight performance issues. These challenges required flight testing well beyond the scope, complexity and duration of the original flight test programme.
With no formal training and minimal preparation, he was also required to develop and verify flight deck instrumentation and automation procedures, train the flight deck crew and manage systems engineers and operators conducting mission systems integration testing onboard the modified P-3K2 aircraft. These were development testing events that a senior Qualified Flight Instructor would be unlikely to encounter during the entire span of a career. SQNLDR Bartlett’s contribution was instrumental to the successful completion of the P-3K2 aircraft project.

Lieutenant Commander Simon Griffiths is the Commanding Officer of the Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS Wellington. He led the ship through the introduction into service trials and unit readiness evaluation. The successful conclusion was the ship’s operational deployment in February 2011 to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. This was the first Navy visit to the area in 40 years and while there is much historical information on operations in the area, there was neither practical experience operating a vessel like the HMNZS Wellington nor current knowledge of ice navigation.

While the ship was departing the Ross Sea, a distress signal was received from a recreational adventure vessel. With limited communications back to New Zealand due to bad weather conditions, he instituted a considered and measured approach to the call. The ship spent 12 hours conducting an extensive, but what provided to be unsuccessful, search for the yacht or her life boat and crew.

Squadron Leader Russell Kennedy has served in the RNZAF since January 1978, during which time his name has become synonymous with flight safety.
He has held various roles as an aircraft investigator and as Air Force Safety Officer. He has led or assisted in over 25 aircraft accidents or incidents. His expertise is also recognised in the civilian flight safety sector and he has been call on to assist both the Civil Aviation Authority and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission on many occasions, most recently the crash of the Air New Zealand Airbus A320 off the coast of France. He is also Secretary of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Air Safety Investigators. SQNLDR Kennedy’s contributions to the safety of flights in Australia and New Zealand have benefited the aviation industry and the general public.


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