Rotorua man joins NZDF Cook Islands Humanitarian Mission

LCPL Walmsley on Exercise Tropic Twilight 2015

LCPL Walmsley on Exercise Tropic Twilight 2015

17 September 2015

When he gets home in mid-October from Exercise Tropic Twilight Lance Corporal (LCPL) Ryan Walmsley can claim to have been on both the coolest and the hottest missions on earth.

In January, he was deployed to Antarctica to replace the existing floor at Scott Base with 18,000 new pavers. Currently deployed to the Cook Islands for Exercise Tropic Twilight 2015, he is a member of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) contingent which is part of a 60-strong multinational task group that is upgrading a critical fuel depot and refurbishing public buildings in the northern atolls of Penrhyn and Manihiki.

“I am leading the refit of the fuel depot. I have a team of Army and civilian personnel and our main task is to lay the concrete foundation for the fuel tank and to construct a fence around the compound,” said the former student of Rotorua’s John Paul College.

LCPL Walmsley enlisted in 2004 as a rifleman with the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. In 2008, he moved to the New Zealand Army’s 2nd Engineer Regiment (2 ER) and trained as a carpenter.

“I had always wanted to join the Army from a young age and I find the challenges appealing,” he said.

“I have enjoyed getting the opportunity to travel and help out countries in need.  The local people are so grateful for the work we do which makes me proud to be a part of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF),” he added.

He advises high school students who are unsure what path to take to consider joining the NZDF.

“The NZDF is the perfect place to build your career. There are plenty of opportunities to travel overseas and meet great people who you can learn from. There are also opportunities to represent the NZDF in sports, which can also take you to places around the world,” said LCPL Walmsley, who is a member of the Army’s cricket team.

Tropic Twilight aims to practise the NZDF’s capability to deploy alongside other militaries to provide Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief in the Southwest Pacific. The exercise is being conducted from 31 August – 12 October in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the government of the Cook Islands.

Around 30 engineers, plumbers, carpenters and electricians from the Army’s 2ER are completing light engineering tasks alongside 20 military engineers from China, the United Kingdom and the United States. The FAPF (Forces armees en Polynesie francaise) are also supporting this targeted humanitarian activity.


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This page was last reviewed on 17 September 2015.