16 Nov 2012: CDR Sandra Walker assumes command of HMNZS ENDEAVOUR
Commander Sandra Walker assumed command of the replenishment tanker HMNZS ENDEAVOUR during a ceremony on board the ship at Devonport Naval Base on 16 November.
CDR Walker took command from the outgoing Commanding Officer, CDR Keith Robb, during a formal ceremony officiated by the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Tony Parr. She is the first woman to command a major RNZN fleet unit.
CDR Walker said she was grateful to be given the opportunity to command HMNZS ENDEAVOUR.
“As an officer in the Royal New Zealand Navy, taking command of a ship is something we all aspire to as it is the pinnacle of your seagoing career.
“I’m very much looking forward serving on ENDEAVOUR again, and working with the Ship’s Company,” CDR Walker said.
Women were first enlisted into the Navy in the seagoing career trades in the early 1990s. CDR Walker enlisted soon after in 1994 on the General List of Officers in the Hydrographic specialisation of the Executive Branch.
She completed initial and specialist officer training at HMNZS TAMAKI and between 1994 and 2002 served in HMNZ Ships SOUTHLAND, WAIKATO, ENDEAVOUR, MONOWAI and RESOLUTION.
In April 2007 CDR Walker was Executive Officer of HMNZS ENDEAVOUR when the ship’s company received the Maritime Component Commanders award for efficiency in operations. More recently she has also worked in support of the Canterbury Earthquake recovery programme and Operation Rena.
Photo: Rear Admiral Tony Parr hands over a new ship’s pennant to CDR Walker as part of the Change of Command ceremony. The new pennant will be flown onboard ENDEAVOUR throughout CDR Walker's command.