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NZ Defence Force Personnel Named in Honours List

4 June 2012

Six New Zealand Defence Force personnel have been named in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours list today.

The recipients are as follows:

To be a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to forensic science:

Colonel Hugh Gourlay TRENGROVE
Colonels’ List, New Zealand Army
Based in Auckland

To receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD):

Major David Bruce ACKROYD
Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own)
Based in Waiouru

Lieutenant Layamon John BAKEWELL
Royal New Zealand Navy
Based in Devonport

Squadron Leader Aaron Douglas BENTON
Royal New Zealand Air Force
Based at Whenuapai

Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Richard McASLAN
Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
Based in Burnham

Warrant Officer Class One Christopher James WILSON
Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own)
Based in Trentham


Note to editors: The Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) recognises distinguished military service by regular, territorial and reserve members of the New Zealand Defence Force, including command and leadership and service in an operational environment, or in support of operations.

WO1 Chris Wilson is unavailable for interview.

For further information please contact Katherine O’Donnell, Media Advisor – Defence Communications Group, on 021 664 293


To be a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM):

For services to forensic science:

TRENGROVE, Colonel Hugh Gourlay

Colonels’ List, New Zealand Army

Colonel Hugh Trengrove is the National Disaster Victim Identification Coordinator for Forensic Odontology and coordinated the disaster victim identification efforts following the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

Though due to retire on the day of the 22 February earthquake, he continued in his position as the Chief Advisor Health (J1 Health) at Joint Forces New Zealand and as a qualified Urban Search and Rescue Operative. He personally led efforts to recover human remains for identification as effectively and promptly as possible, especially at the site of the CTV building. He also served with the New Zealand Police Disaster Victim Identification teams in Thailand following the 2004 tsunami. Colonel Trengrove is a specialist restorative dental surgeon, an examiner for the College of Dental Surgeons and manages publications in the New Zealand Dental Journal.


Note: The nomination has been endorsed by both the Acting Chief of Defence Force and the Commissioner of Police.


To receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD):

ACKROYD, Major David Bruce

Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own)

Major Ackroyd served as Logistics Advisor to the Falantil – Forca de Defesa De Timor Leste (F-FDTL) from June 2004 to July 2005. In November 2010, he returned to Timor Leste to serve a second 12 month tour as Logistic Advisor to the Logistic Commander of the F-FDTL. In these roles he trained, provided advice and mentored Timor Leste officers in the tactical and operational aspects of military logistics and encouraged them to find solutions to problems and situations, rather than solving the problems himself and imposing solutions. The outcome has been the considerable improvement in the capacity and overall skill levels in logistics management within the F-FDTL. He has also been pro-active within a multi-national group of advisors whose efforts have created a sound base upon which the F-FDTL will grow and develop their maintenance and support capabilities. Apart from his specialised role, his commitment to the F-FDTL has ensured that recent Falantil Day parades, when the legacy of those who contributed and sacrificed so much for the Independence of Timor Leste are honoured, have been staged in a professional manner. The esteem with which New Zealand is now held within Timor Leste, is due in no small measure to his skills and diplomacy.


To receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD):

BAKEWELL, Lieutenant Layamon John

Royal New Zealand Navy

Lieutenant Bakewell was Commanding Officer of HMNZS ROTOITI, which at 5.00am on 11 October 2011 was ordered to sail to the vicinity of the grounded vessel MV Rena, off the coast of Tauranga. Deteriorating weather conditions overnight had led the Salvage Master onboard Rena to request an evacuation of non-essential personnel. By 6.30am when ROTOITI arrived on the scene, bad weather conditions precluded a transfer by boat. Lieutenant Bakewell then called for helicopter assistance which arrived on the scene at 8.00am. Under his direction, the aircraft managed to evacuate thirteen personnel in three lifts before weather conditions prevented further flying. Rena’s state was now critical. The ship was listing with the hull under immense strain and containers on the stern becoming unstable. An oil slick down wind from the ship had also spread. At 9.30am, the Salvage Master called "MayDay" and sought an immediate evacuation of the remaining twenty-seven personnel onboard. By 9.50am, Lieutenant Bakewell had organised five rigid hull inflatable boats to commence the operation. Due to prevailing and worsening conditions, there were considerable restraints on where the boats could safely operate. All remaining personnel were however safely evacuated from the Rena by 10.48am.


To receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD):

BENTON, Squadron Leader Aaron Douglas

Royal New Zealand Air Force

Squadron Leader Benton (then in the rank of flight lieutenant) was serving with No 5 Squadron in September 2010, when a request was received to prepare an aircraft for a winter aero-medical evacuation from Antarctica. As an experienced P-3K Orion instructor pilot, he was called on to undertake this mission. The patient, an American working at McMurdo Station, was seriously ill and in need of specialist medical care. The Orion left Christchurch to begin the mission on Sunday 12 September, with weather conditions expected to deteriorate approximately four hours after the aircraft’s scheduled departure from Antarctica. However over the space of 15 minutes during the flight south, separate observations showed increasingly blizzard like conditions. He therefore made the decision to turn back. After two days, the weather cleared and a successful landing was made. Faced with an outside temperature of minus 47 degree Celsius, he had a number of factors relating to crew safety to consider when operating in such a harsh and unfamiliar environment. Functions such as loading the patient, refuelling, starting, taxiing and take-off all had to be carefully planned and executed, as well as contingencies for aircraft technical issues and emergencies. His planning and attention to detail ensured that the aircraft and crew remained safe at all times, despite operating at the extremes of both human and equipment performance.


To receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD):

McASLAN, Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Richard

Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment

Lieutenant Colonel McAslan served in Afghanistan as the Senior Military Advisor with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team from April to September 2011. During this period, the responsibility for governance and security of Bamyan province was formally handed over to the Afghan authorities. At the same time, the Provincial Reconstruction Team was required to develop strategies to prevent insurgents from disrupting the transition. He also adopted tactics that allowed the Provincial Reconstruction Team to provide a greater presence and level of security in the strategically important north eastern district of Bamyan, without incurring casualties to insurgent attacks on two separate occasions. He also initiated a plan to provide the Provincial government with the means and resources to maintain security in Bamyan when New Zealand forces leave the province. The plan he developed has become the blueprint for how New Zealand will meet the considerable challenges associated with the transition process. The framework has now been set for the New Zealand Defence Force to meet its obligations, in accordance with New Zealand government directives, to train and mentor an Afghan national police force that will eventually assume the responsibility for security in Bamyan.


To receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD):

WILSON, Warrant Officer Class One Christopher James

Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own)

Warrant Officer Class One Wilson served in Afghanistan with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team from April to October 2010. His duty as Patrol Liaison Officer was to establish a network of relationships with both local government representatives and community leaders in the Kahmard and Sayghan districts of Bamyan province, to promote reconstruction efforts in governance, development and security. In June and July, the local communities where he worked were devastated by the worst flooding in living memory. His careful management of scarce resources resulted in significant and much needed relief being provided to the local population. On 3 August, his Patrol Commander (Lieutenant O’Donnell) was killed in an ambush. He had to take immediate command of the patrol, win the resulting fire fight (during which actions by the crew members of the ambushed vehicle and another patrol member who went forward to affect their rescue, have been recognised by gallantry awards) and adopt a defensive position until the arrival of a supporting force. He then also assumed command of the patrol, providing the leadership and guidance necessary for the young soldiers to come to terms with what had been a traumatic event, without losing operational integrity, at a time when security was becoming of increasing concern.



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