16 November 2012
The Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Tony Parr hands the command directive to Commander Sandra Walker as part of the Change of Command ceremony at Devonport Naval Base today.
A Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) woman has taken command of the Replenishment Tanker HMNZS ENDEAVOUR for the first time during a ceremony at Devonport Naval Base today.
Commander (CDR) Sandra Walker took command of the ship from the outgoing Commanding Officer, CDR Keith Robb, during a formal ceremony officiated by the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Tony Parr. She is the first woman to command a major fleet unit.
CDR Walker said she was grateful to be given the opportunity to command HMNZS ENDEAVOUR.
"As an officer in the Royal New Zealand Navy, taking command of a ship is something we all aspire to as it is the pinnacle of your seagoing career".
"I’m very much looking forward serving on HMNZS ENDEAVOUR again, and working with the ship’s company," CDR Walker said.
Women were first enlisted into the Navy in the seagoing career trades in the early 1990s. CDR Walker enlisted soon after in 1994 on the General List of Officers in the Hydrographic specialisation of the Executive Branch.
She completed initial and specialist officer training at HMNZS TAMAKI, and between 1994 and 2002 served in HMNZ Ships SOUTHLAND, WAIKATO, ENDEAVOUR, MONOWAI and RESOLUTION.
In April 2007 CDR Walker was Executive Officer of HMNZS ENDEAVOUR when the ship’s company received the Maritime Component Commanders award for efficiency in operations. More recently she has also worked in support of the Canterbury Earthquake recovery programme and Operation Rena.
For further information please contact Ally Clelland, Defence Communications Group, on 021 569 130