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Defence Force honours well-deserved

Defence Force honours well-deserved

Defence Minister Ron Mark has extended warm congratulations to the New Zealand Defence Force staff who have been recognised for their service in the New Year Honours List.

Dr John Kay, who has worked for the Defence Technology Agency and predecessor organisations in Auckland for 39 years, has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).

Dr Kay is a prominent figure in the international defence science community, leading New Zealand’s participation in research collaboration in such areas as maritime, electronic warfare and sensor systems.

“Dr Kay’s contribution to the work of the Defence Force and to the safety and security of New Zealanders through his many scientific endeavours over a very long period of time cannot be under-estimated,” Mr Mark said.

“There is a great deal of largely-unseen hard work that goes into equipping and preparing our personnel and platforms for the wide range of tasks they carry out in all environments. Scientists like Dr Kay play a huge part in that, and in preparing for the future.

“This is very well-deserved recognition.”

Squadron Leader Rhys Evans of the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s Whenuapai-based 40 Squadron has been awarded the Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD).

Squadron Leader Evans was Commanding Officer of the first rotation of a C-130 Hercules deployment to the Middle East during June to September 2016. The contingent was part of an Australian Defence Force Air Mobility Task Group supporting coalition forces in the area.

“Squadron Leader Evans has demonstrated outstanding leadership in preparing for and carrying out what was a new task for the Defence Force in the face of numerous challenges in a very complex environment, where harsh conditions are the norm,” Mr Mark said.

“He rose to the challenge with distinction, taking the members of the contingent he commanded along with him, to a level at which they achieved an incredibly high success rate and brought great credit to the Defence Force.

“All our people who have served, and are still serving, in the Middle East are making a vital contribution to the coalition’s work towards building peace and security in the area.

“Squadron Leader Evans is one such whose contribution has been deservedly recognised by the award of the DSD,” he said.

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