New Commander Takes Charge Of Deployed Forces

28 February 2013

Air Vice-Marshal Kevin Short is passed a Generals’ sword by Chief of Army, Major General David Gawn.

Air Vice-Marshal Kevin Short took command of Joint Forces New Zealand in a Change of Command ceremony in Trentham earlier today (28 February).

The parade differed to those normally seen within the Defence Force with a mix of all ranks in all services on show.

Outgoing Joint Forces Commander, Major General David Gawn, was officially farewelled at the ceremony and said he was departing with an element of regret.

"On occasions we get opportunities and experiences that define who we are, and give substance to our careers. My role as Commander Joint Forces NZ has been that for me. While there have been a number of very difficult events to deal with during my time in command, it has been a privilege to work with such professional and dedicated people. We are the three edges of the blade of a single patu," said Major General Gawn.

On taking up his new appointment as Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Air Vice-Marshal Short said he was honoured to assume command of all deployed forces, operational missions and joint exercises.

"My appointment is a great privilege and a great opportunity. This Headquarters has responded to all that has been asked of it and I’m impressed with the achievements so far. I’m determined to ensure that we continue to deliver and maintain our national and international commitments as we work towards the vision of an integrated Defence Force."

Air Vice-Marshal Short has held many senior appointments in the Air project, strategic commitments, plans and capability development related areas. He has also filled a number of command and representational appointments including NZDF Senior National Officer at USCENTCOM as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, Senior National Officer and Commander of the NZPRT (CRIB 9), and Officer Commanding No 485 Wing.


For further information contact the Defence Communications Group, 021 487 980.


Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand (HQ JFNZ) was established at Trentham on 01 July 2001 to support the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand (COMJFNZ) in his command of assigned forces. These forces essentially include all deployable NZ Defence Force Force Elements.

There are currently 249 New Zealand Defence Force personnel deployed on 12 operations and UN missions across 10 countries, including: Afghanistan; Antarctica; Iraq; Korea; Middle East; Sinai; Solomon Islands; South Sudan. There are 73 others on other overseas deployments and exercises.

COMJFNZ is responsible to CDF for operational-level command and control of all joint and/or combined (international) operations and exercises. In practice, this means virtually all NZ Defence Force operations and major exercises.

As well as supervising the conduct of operations and exercises, the headquarters of the Commander Joint Forces undertakes operational-level contingency planning and implements the NZ Defence Force exercise and activity programme.

This page was last reviewed on 28 February 2013.