Commanding Officer - HMNZS CANTERBURY L421
Commander David Turner, RNZN
Commander David Turner entered the Royal Navy at HMS GANGES in 1974 and served in HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS LYNX prior to selection for officer training at Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth in 1978. After Fleet Training in 1980 he stood by HMS CATTISTOCK in build serving initially as Gunnery Officer and then as Navigating Officer.
A brief spell as the Navigating Officer of HMS BRECON followed before attending the Long Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Officers Course in 1983. On completion of specialist training he was appointed to HMS LEDBURY as Operations Officer and then went on to serve 18 months as Executive Officer before joining Captain Mine Counter Measures as the Deputy Staff MCD Officer. His first exposure to the sea training domain came in 1986 when he was appointed to the Operational Sea Training Staff as the Mine Warfare and Seamanship Training Officer.
Following Principal Warfare Officer’s training in 1988, Commander Turner completed appointments as the PWO (Underwater Warfare) in HMS LIVERPOOL and HMS GLASGOW during which he saw a great deal of the Middle East immediately after the first Gulf War. In 1992 he joined Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland’s staff as the Staff Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Officer and Officer in Charge of the Area Clearance Diving and EOD Unit. Appointed to the Ministry of Defence Saudi Arabian Project in 1994 and accompanied by his family, he served in Jubail providing operational advice and command guidance to the Royal Saudi Naval Force on the employment, tasking and roles of the SANDOWN Class Mine Hunter.
On return to UK in 1997 he assumed command of the SANDOWN Class MCMV HMS CROMER during which he participated in a number of national and NATO exercises including a six-month assignment to the Joint Rapid Reaction Force, MCM Force North as Senior Commanding Officer. After two rewarding and operationally challenging years he remained in Scotland where he assumed command of the Northern Diving Group and command of the Diving Support Vessel IRONBRIDGE with responsibility for providing diving, under water engineering and Explosive Ordnance Disposal support throughout Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland.
Returning to the sea training sphere in September 2001, Commander Turner joined Flag Officer Sea Training Faslane initially as the Staff Warfare Officer (MCD) and then as the Deputy Commander Sea Training where his responsibilities included the conduct of Operational Sea Training of all Royal Navy Mine Warfare and Patrol Vessels and the provision of training to NATO and non-NATO navies.
Commander Turner resigned from the Royal Navy in June 2004 and emigrated to New Zealand with his wife Yvonne and family, Harry (born 1985) and Jenni (1989). He initially posted as Commanding Officer Mine Counter Measures in July 2004 before posting as the Commanding Officer Operational Diving Team from June 2005 until March 2008. Following a posting to Bahrain as the Deputy Director Future Operations at the Combined Maritime Forces Head Quarters and also as OIC Deployed Support Element (OP TIKI III), Commander Turner returned to New Zealand and joined HQ JFNZ as JS01 (Operations Planning J5 Global) in September 2008 with a focus on New Zealand operations in Afghanistan. In March 2011 Commander Turner returned to Devonport as the Commander Littoral Warfare Support Group which was the start of his involvement in amphibious operations. Following the establishment of the Naval Warfare Development Group (HQ TF 648), Commander Turner was posted as Deputy Captain Fleet Operational Support and Chief of Staff to CTF 648. Commander Turner assumed command of HMNZS CANTERBURY in November 2012.
His wide interests include all sports, outdoor activities and spending time in the garden. Commander Turner is a qualified Mountain Expedition Leader, a North Harbour Rugby Union Referee and a PADI Dive Instructor.