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Service in Sudan and Solomans Recognised.


A Navy Reserve Officer who served as a UN Military Observer to the Southern Sudan and a Navy Reserve Chaplain who deployed to the Solomon Islands were among a group of reserve personnel decorated for their service this week.

Deputy Chief of Navy Commodore Wayne Burroughs MNZM, presented the New Zealand Operational Service Medal and the United Nations Mission in Sudan Medal was presented to Lieutenant Commander Ian Wells, VRD RNZNVR for service in Sudan, and the Volunteer Reserve Decoration to Chaplain R.W. Peters ED RNZNVR (Rtd).

Clasps to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal were also presented by Commodore Burroughs to Warrant Officer Trevor Lapham and Chief Petty Officer Robbie Grant, recognizing both of their 10 years further qualifying service in the Royal New Zealand Naval Reserve.


Image Right: L to R: WO Lapham, CPO Grant, Commodore Burroughs, LtCdr Chaplin, Chaplain Peters and LtCdr Wells.


Lieutenant Commander Wells was posted as a UN Military Observer to Yambio Province in Southern Sudan from September 2010 to March 2011, and for a period was the acting Team Site Leader during that posting. He was the first New Zealander to be appointed in that role, which was also during the difficult time of Southern Sudan's Referendum for self determination.   

Chaplain Bob Peters, was also recently awarded the Operational Service Medal for his deployment to the Solomon Islands, is believed to have achieved the rare distinction of being the first chaplain to be awarded both the Efficiency Decoration for his prior service in the Territorial Army, as well as the Volunteer Reserve Decoration awarded for his further 15 years service with the Naval Reserve. 

In his address at the ceremony, Commodore Burroughs commended the high level of commitment and dedication of the Medal recipients for their service that qualified them for their awards, and also specially commended their families and employers, without such support their Defence Force service would not have been possible.



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