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Ceremony marks Chief of Defence handover

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Defence

31 January 2014

Ceremony marks Chief of Defence handover

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman has congratulated newly promoted Lieutenant General Tim Keating, who has today assumed command of the NZ Defence Force.

“It has been a fitting ceremony to mark the departure of out-going Chief of Defence Force (CDF), Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, who has handed-over to Lieutenant General Keating,” says Dr Coleman.

“I would like to thank Lieutenant General Jones for his service to New Zealand. He leaves the Defence Force after a distinguished 35-year career.

“During his tenure as CDF he played a key role in devising the long term strategic vision for a future Defence Force, and he helped to set out a clear path forward on defence affordability.

“He has overseen the withdrawal of the NZDF’s commitments in Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands, and he responded to a range of humanitarian assistance operations, including the Christchurch Earthquakes and events in the South Pacific.”

The change of command ceremony, where Major General Keating was promoted to Lieutenant General, was presided over by the Governor-General, Lieutenant General the Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae.

“I congratulate Lieutenant General Keating on taking up his new role as CDF, and I look forward to working with him,” says Dr Coleman.

“Lieutenant General Keating is a strong, credible leader with 32 years of military experience. He ably supported the CDF during his time as Vice Chief. He has extensive organisational management, leadership, and operational experience, and has translated strategic ideas into practical achievable plans.”

Major General Keating joined the Army in 1982. He has held various command positions, including Commanding Officer 1 NZSAS Group, Commandant Officer Cadet School, and Commander 2nd Land Force Group.

He deployed to Afghanistan as the Commander of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, Bamyan in 2005. He holds a Master of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College, Pennsylvania. In 2008 he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. He was promoted to the role of Chief of Army in February 2011. In December 2012, he was appointed Vice Chief of Defence Force.

ENDS

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