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New Commanding Officer for Air Force's Rotary Wing

Outgoing CO WGCDR Russell Mardon (left) hands over the Wing Commander’s Pennant to incoming CO WGCDR Shaun Clark.
WGCDR Russell Mardon (left) hands over the Wing Commander’s Pennant to incoming CO WGCDR Shaun Clark (OH 10-0770-023).

10 December 2010

With over 5000 flying hours under his belt, 10 years flying Sioux and Iroquois helicopters and five years flying fixed wing training aircraft, Wing Commander Shaun Clark stepped into his new role as Commanding Officer (CO) of Number 3 Squadron with a change of command parade at Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Base Ohakea on 8 December.

The former student of Central Southland College is now in charge of the Air Force’s rotary wing fleet, together with the personnel who fly and maintain them. No. 3 Squadron RNZAF provides operational support and training for the NZ Army. It also undertakes search and rescue missions, medical evacuation, and support to other government agencies such as the New Zealand Police and Department of Conservation.

A former leader of the Red Checkers aerobatics team, during their 2008 season, and more recently the CO of the Helicopter Transition Unit - which is responsible for introducing the new A109LUH and NH90 helicopters into service - 37-year-old WGCDR Clark says he is looking forward to returning to No. 3 Squadron.

"The role 3 Squadron performs is an important one and the flying is often exciting and challenging. Best of all, the Squadron is manned by a great team of professional aviators, maintenance and support personnel who are passionate about the Squadron and work hard to deliver military air operations for New Zealand.

"I’m very much looking forward to being a part of 3 Squadron again, and leading such a great team of people!" said WGCDR Clark.

As the Squadron prepares to gradually phase out the Sioux and Iroquois the new CO, who has previously deployed to Antarctica, Bougainville, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands, is ready for his latest challenge.

ENDS

For more information please contact Anna Sussmilch, Defence Communications Group, on 04 496 0286 or 021 676 338.

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