Exchange of the patu signifies the change of command of RNZAF Base Ohakea from Group Captain Nick Olney (R) to Group Captain Shaun Sexton (L).
13 December 2017
Command of Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea changed hands today and is now firmly under the charge of a leader who is no stranger to the operational military base.
Group Captain(GPCAPT) Nick Olney handed over control to Group Captain(GPCAPT) Shaun Sexton in front of the Air Component Commander Air Commodore Darryn Webb and several hundred members of Base Ohakea.
Under the command of GPCAPT Olney since 2015, Base Ohakea has completed several operational milestones including the introduction into service of the A109, NH90 and T6-C Texan II, the opening of the new pilot training facility, the re-establishment of No. 14 Squadron and the opening of the RNZAF Tūrangawaewae
Base Ohakea also hosted the 2017 Air Tattoo in celebration of the RNZAF’s 80th Anniversary.
“It is always a privilege to be given the opportunity to lead people and it has been a special privilege to lead a group of people who demonstrate such a high level of professionalism and who make such a positive impact regionally, nationally and internationally,” said GPCAPT Olney who is heading to the Centre for Defence Strategic Studies in Australia to embark on a Defence and Strategic Studies Course.
As a pilot in Number 3 Squadron based at Ohakea, GPCAPT Sexton completed numerous New Zealand and overseas operational tours in Antarctica, Bougainville, East Timor and Solomon Islands flying the UH1H Iroquois.
In May 2008, GPCAPT Sexton became the project officer for the NH90 Introduction into Service. In October 2010, he was appointed Commanding Officer of the Helicopter Transition Unit, the entity charged with the introduction into service of the A109LUH (NZ) and NH90 (TNZA) helicopters at Base Ohakea.
Most recently he was Commander of the New Zealand Defence College prior to taking up his new position.
“To be able to continue to build on the strong operational framework already established at Base Ohakea is an exciting prospect and I am very appreciative of the huge amount of work Ohakea has achieved under GPCAPT Olney.
“I’m looking forward to continuing the strong and positive relationships we have with our neighbours and the wider region.”