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Queen's Birthday Honours 2021 - Citations for the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration

The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration:

Serviceman M

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Serviceman M was responsible for leading the ground recovery team involved in the body recovery operation from Whakaari/White Island after the eruption on 9 December 2019, which killed 21 people and injured another 26.

Serviceman M led the ground recovery team from E Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) to conduct planning at the emergency operations centre in Whakatane, before embarking on HMNZS WELLINGTON for the recovery operation. He liaised with all agencies involved, providing technical guidance to ensure the most effective and safest course of action was established. He was involved in further detailed planning for cadaver assessment and decontamination processes. Initially Serviceman M and his Rescue Team Medic went ashore on Whakaari to place monitoring and diagnostic equipment to test the environment to ensure the recovery team had the right protective equipment to safely conduct the task. He then led the recovery team onto Whakaari to search for and retrieve six victims. The operating conditions on the island were extreme with heat and lethal gases, while dressed in cumbersome protective clothing and breathing apparatus that quickly exhausted those involved. He kept his team focused in these conditions and ensured forced rest periods were taken and reallocated tasks as fatigue set in, which helped the team manage their exhaustion to complete the task. He ensured that six bodies were recovered off the island and determined the other two victims could not be located, before withdrawing the entire team to the ship. Serviceman M supported the subsequent Police search operation for the missing two victims over the following days.

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The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration:

MODD, Lieutenant Colonel Adam John, GM

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Lieutenant Colonel Adam Modd joined the New Zealand Army in 2007 as an Ammunition Technical Officer in the Royal New Zealand Army Logistics Regiment, after completing service in the British Army.

Lieutenant Colonel Modd has held Chief instructor, Command, Special Operations and Capability Development roles in the New Zealand Army, as well as operational deployment overseas. He has been dedicated to the development of domestic and expeditionary Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD) and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) capabilities. He set up a New Zealand-led international explosives research and training programme that resulted in a higher level of understanding helping reduce chemical and explosive related risks. He has played a key role in the development of a lifesaving capability that has become globally recognised and international agencies regularly seek to be part of this world-leading programme. This has directly supported a range of national and international agencies in their efforts to keep people safe from chemical and explosive dangers. He has been involved with numerous international counter terrorist, counter proliferation and security working groups helping to stay abreast with the latest global threats and been asked to assist in developing regional counter IED capabilities. Despite significant challenges, Lieutenant Colonel Modd has remained dedicated and active in these fields.

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Last updated: 
Wednesday, 26 May 2021

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