Commander Joint Forces change of command ceremony

Commander Joint Forces New Zeland change of command ceremony. CDF, LTGEN Rhys Jones presents the General sword to MAJGEN Dave Gawn

Major General Gawn is passed a Generals’ sword by Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Jones. [20110418_WN_S1015650_0003]

18 April 2011

Major General Dave Gawn took command of Joint Forces New Zealand in a Change of Command ceremony in Trentham at a ceremony on 18 April.

The ceremony began with the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, promoting Brigadier Gawn to the rank of Major General.

Outgoing Joint Forces Commander, Air Vice-Marshal Peter Stockwell, was officially farewelled at the ceremony. “It has been a rewarding and extremely enjoyable time as Commander Joint Forces. While there have been a number of very difficult events to deal with during my time in command, including the deaths of Lieutenant Tim O’Donnell and Private Kirifi Mila in Afghanistan, the tsunami in the Pacific, the Pike River tragedy and the devastating earthquakes in Christchurch, it has been a privilege to work with such professional and dedicated people.

“Our core business of maintaining the New Zealand Defence Force’s operational commitments overseas has remained a strong focus. I am especially proud of the outstanding work of the staff at Headquarters Joint Forces who shoulder the heavy workload of planning and managing a diverse range of missions.

“I now look forward to my new role as Chief of Air Force where I hope to continue my contribution to the success of the Defence Force,” said Air Vice-Marshal Peter Stockwell, who will begin his three-year appointment as Chief of Air Force on 1 May.

On taking up his new appointment as Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Major General Gawn said he was honoured to assume command of Joint Forces New Zealand, which plays a crucial role in ensuring our Defence Force remains agile and prepared to meet any security challenge, at home and overseas.

“We currently have over 1074 personnel deployed on 22 operations, UN missions and defence exercises in 15 countries around the world. I am determined to ensure that Joint Forces New Zealand continues to deliver and maintain our international commitments where we are seen as a valued coalition partner, working around the world building peace and security.

“At home, we are continuing to provide support to civil defence in the earthquake recovery operation in Christchurch. Personnel from all three Services are working together to man the security cordon in the inner city and our Army engineers continue to provide assistance.”

Major General Gawn has held many senior Army appointments including Deputy Chief of Army and Land Component Commander. He has considerable operational experience and was awarded an MBE for his work as the first Commanding Officer of Kiwi Company in Bosnia in 1994.  In 2000 he became Commanding Officer of the 3rd New Zealand Battalion Group in East Timor for which he received a Force Commander’s Commendation.


Biography of MAJGEN Gawn

For further information contact Kirsty Taylor-Doig, Defence Communications Group, 021 806 926.

This page was last reviewed on 18 April 2011.