Gisborne Man Behind The Moves of Huge Military Exercise

14 November 2013
Lieutenant Commander Kane Sutherland prepares for HMNZS CANTERBURY coming alongside at Port Timaru

Lieutenant Commander Kane Sutherland prepares for HMNZS CANTERBURY coming alongside at Port Timaru

Coordinating the movements of three large ships is all in a day’s work for Gisborne local Lieutenant Commander Kane Sutherland, who is currently deployed on Exercise Southern Katipo.

LT CDR Sutherland is the Operations Officer for HMNZS CANTERBURY, the primary control ship for New Zealand’s biggest international military exercise. His role is a senior position on the ship and his duties include carrying out operations planning and security measures for the ship, supporting the battle staff embarked and looking after the weapons system.

“There are two other ships – HMNZS WELLINGTON and the French frigate FS PRAIRIAL – working with us for this exercise. My role involves coordinating the movements of all three ships. It is a big task and a great experience.”

“The best part of the exercise so far has been the amphibious landing we completed at Port Timaru last weekend. We had a practice run at Akaroa a few days prior and it was good to do the real thing in Timaru. The team is in high spirits after executing a successful amphibious landing of troops and vehicles,” says LT CDR Sutherland.

Southern Katipo aims to test the capability of the New Zealand Defence Force to mount a medium-scale amphibious operation that involves land, air and maritime assets. It also aims to enhance the NZDF’s ability to work with its international defence partners, particularly those in the Pacific region.

LT CDR Sutherland joined the Navy immediately after graduating from Campion College. Through the Navy, he completed a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Environmental Science at Auckland University. He already has 13 years of naval experience under his belt and is enthusiastic about the opportunities he has had to date with the Navy.

“Going on operations and exercises like Southern Katipo is great. We get to continually test our ability to respond in different environments. I’m looking forward to working with a new group of troops on other amphibious landings planned for the exercise,” says LT CDR Sutherland.

The joint exercise is being held in the South Canterbury region from 4-29 November 2013. It involves three ships and up to 18 aircraft and 2200 personnel from New Zealand and nine other countries, namely Australia, Tonga, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Canada, United States of America, France, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.


For more information, please contact the Defence Communications Group on 021 487 980.

This page was last reviewed on 14 November 2013.