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New Year Honours 2016 - Citations for The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration

GRITT, Commander Louisa Ann

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Commander Louisa Gritt, then a junior Commander in the Royal New Zealand Navy, was appointed in late 2014 as Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of Combined Task Force 151, a New Zealand-led multi-national naval group conducting counter-piracy operations within the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

Promoted to Acting Captain for this role, Commander Gritt was responsible for the effective leadership and day-to-day operations of the headquarters and with exercising temporary command of the Task Force during absences of the appointed commander. In a highly complex multi-national operational environment she demonstrated superior initiative and planning skills that supported the command team and enabled the Task Force to successfully complete its mission. For an officer of her seniority and relative inexperience this result was an outstanding achievement. This was the first occasion New Zealand had deployed an entire operational headquarters to conduct a multi-national maritime operation, and the successful outcomes achieved were due in large part to Commander Gritt’s diligence, leadership and professionalism. Her performance greatly enhanced the reputation of the Royal New Zealand Navy and the New Zealand Defence Force with New Zealand’s international partners.

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NICKEL, Chief Petty Officer Anthony

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Chief Petty Officer Anthony Nickel was posted in late 2014 as the Communications Staff Officer on the headquarters of Combined Task Force 151, a New Zealand-led multi-national naval group conducting counter-piracy operations within the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

In this role Chief Petty Officer Nickel was responsible for the effective management of the Task Force’s command and control systems used to coordinate operations and disrupt piracy and other criminal activity within the Area of Operations. His abilities were recognised by his superiors and he was frequently sought out to provide specialist advice across the Task Force and the United States Fifth Fleet. In particular, he identified significant opportunities to improve the way in which the command and control systems were being used, resolved long-standing communications problems and made significant improvements to the operational readiness of the Task Force. Chief Petty Officer Nickel’s performance enhanced Task Force and Fifth Fleet operations and was above and beyond that expected of a person of his rank and experience.

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SCOTT, Wing Commander Andrew John (Andy)

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Wing Commander Andy Scott served as a senior staff officer at Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand from December 2012 until April 2015.

During this period he played a key role in the planning and execution of a wide range of responses to major crises and events. Internationally, he took the lead in the New Zealand Defence Force’s involvement in the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, the assistance to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, and in the responses to the cyclones that struck the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in March 2015. Nationally, he played a key role in supporting a range of events such as the Rugby and Cricket World Cups, and the 2014 Royal Visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. He has been a key person in maintaining the Defence Force’s cooperation with Search and Rescue, as well as border and resource protection support for New Zealand Customs, the Ministry of Primary Industries and Department of Conservation. He has developed closer working relationships with other government agencies and international organisations with an interest in conservation and security in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. Wing Commander Scott has been called upon to represent the Defence Force at a number of government and international fora.

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Last updated: 
Monday, 14 December 2015

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