7 October 2019
Feilding meat inspector and livestock field technician Daniel Pinfold has swapped the rural New Zealand countryside for the jungles of Malaysia for the next few weeks as he takes part in a large multinational military exercise.
Sergeant Pinfold is one of more than 50 New Zealand Army Reservists from all over the country taking part in Exercise Bersama Lima, a military exercise held each year involving forces from New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and the United Kingdom. These countries signed the Five Power Defence Arrangement in 1971 as a commitment to defence co-operation and regional stability in South East Asia.
Sergeant Pinfold, who attended Feilding High School, has family links to the New Zealand military going back to the First World War and has been interested in the New Zealand Army since he was a child.
He considered joining the New Zealand Army Regular Force in 2003 but instead accepted an offer of an electrician apprenticeship. He became a Reservist the next year and has remained a member ever since.
During that time he has led an operational deployment to the Solomon Islands in 2008, attended First World War commemorations in Australia, Belgium and France in 2014 and 2015, and went to the Cook Islands in 2015 as Electrical Section Commander, an opportunity to put his mix of military training and civilian skills to use.
“This is the best part-time job ever,” he said. “You get paid to do lots of cool stuff, including lots of shooting, and go to interesting places. If anyone has an interest in the Army but is established in a civilian job, the Reserves are the way to go.”
He is excited about the deployment to Malaysia.
“It is great coming over as the Platoon Sergeant, representing the New Zealand Army. We are working in a challenging environment and with soldiers from our ally and partner nations. It doesn’t get better than this.”
Exercise Bersama Lima, from 29 September to 19 October, is usually based in Singapore and takes place in the South China Sea and around the Malaysian Peninsular. It involves Royal New Zealand Navy, New Zealand Army, and Royal New Zealand Air Force units and supporting units conducting training with Five Power Defence Arrangement air, land and maritime assets.
Members of the New Zealand Army Reserve regularly work and train alongside their Regular Force counterparts in New Zealand and overseas. Their military training also strengthens the leadership, resilience, teamwork and focus they bring to their civilian roles – benefitting their employers and their communities.