7 September 2018
The new Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Clark, was sworn in at a Change of Command ceremony and parade at Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Base Auckland today.
His appointment was announced last month by Minister of Defence Ron Mark.
During the Change of Command ceremony, Chief of Defence Force Air Marshal Kevin Short said Air Vice-Marshal Clark was well-suited to lead the RNZAF.
“He has the integrity, character and finesse to lead,” Air Marshal Short said.
Air Vice-Marshal Clark said it was a “great honour” to take on the role.
“The Air Force is a tapestry of distinguished service records and great stories,” he said.
It was an exciting time to work in the RNZAF, with work being undertaken in New Zealand and around the world, in particular the Pacific, Antarctica and the Middle East, he said.
There were also exciting upgrades occurring within the service, he said.
“We have recently brought our helicopter and training fleets well into this century, and we have major investments under way for our fixed-wing fleet, starting with the P-8s.”
Air Vice-Marshal Clark joined the RNZAF in 1986 as a navigator and completed four operational tours on the P-3K2 Orion, including commanding an operational mission in the Middle East and a tour as Commanding Officer of No.5 Squadron.
Recent postings include Assistant Chief of Air Force Strategy Management, Director of Strategic Commitments, Director of Defence Intelligence, Deputy Chief of Air Force, and Assistant Chief of Capability.
Most recently, Air Vice-Marshal Clark has served as the Air Component Commander for the RNZAF.
He replaced as Chief of Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies, who is beginning his new role as the Vice Chief of Defence.
Air Vice-Marshal Davies said the Government had made an excellent choice with the new Chief of Air Force.
“I have every confidence that Air Vice-Marshal Clark will provide outstanding leadership to the RNZAF, as we work through some exciting new opportunities over the next three years,” Air Vice-Marshal Davies said.
“I know that he will enjoy the leadership role as much as I have.
“As I move on to my new appointment I will look back fondly on my past two and a half years’ as Chief of Air Force."