8 August 2010
The New Zealand Army officer killed in action in Afghanistan, Lieutenant Tim O’Donnell, will be returned to his family at Ohakea Air Force Base at approximately 1600hrs (4pm) today aboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft.
There will be a brief ramp ceremony as LT O’Donnell’s casket is carried off the aircraft.
At this stage a family member has indicated that they will be available to talk to the media on base sometime after the ceremony.
Media must be at Ohakea Air Force Base main gate no later than 1445 (2.45pm) with appropriate photo ID. Media wishing to attend must register with MAJ Kristian Dunne 021 478 574 or Paul Stein 021 409 033
Please note that there will be strict filming/photographing requirements on the base:
- The media must stand where directed
- Filming/photographing the aircraft’s landing and taxiing is permitted
- Filming/photographing the ramp ceremony is permitted, although please desist from showing extreme close ups of grieving family members
- Filming/photographing other military ceremonies at this time on base is permitted
- Interviewing anyDefence Force personnel is not permitted
- A family member may give a media conference following the ceremony.
Those media organisations wishing to show live pictures or stream this event from Ohakea are advised that all the above requirements must be met even when or if it is being shown live.
The New Zealand Defence Force would like to take this opportunity to thank the New Zealand Media for their understanding during this time.
We ask at all times that the wishes of LT O’Donnell’s family be respected, and that the coverage of the homecoming be carried out in a way that maintains the dignity and sincerity in these ceremonies.