2012 July: TE KAHA's half million
The odometer of HMNZS TE KAHA passed 500,000 nautical miles during Ex RIMPAC 2012, a major milestone in the frigate’s 15 years of service.
Since her commissioning in 1997, TE KAHA has operated through much of the world’s oceans including the Gulf, India, south-east Asia, the Pacific and the Southern Ocean. The 500,000 miles was achieved as she sailed from the Port of Honolulu for the at sea phase of RIMPAC in July.
The ship has a crew of 170 which represents about a quarter of all the sailors serving at sea in the Navy. One of TE KAHA’s Officers, LT Brad King, has spent a lot of time onboard her. He was part of the commissioning crew in 1997 and has served under all the ship’s seven Commanding Officers. Back onboard for this trip as a Principal Warfare Officer responsible for fighting the ship in action, he says: “Witnessing the launch of TE KAHA in 1995 and commissioning her in 1997, I never thought I would have been taken so far with her. From the west coast of Canada to the Gulf, as far north as the Bering Sea and south into the Ross Sea, I have been challenged the whole time, from Able Signalman through to Principal Warfare Officer.”
In order to keep up with the times the ship has undergone a number of equipment improvements most recently a set of powerful new engines. Next on the list are improvements to the way equipment on board is controlled and then a weapons and sensors upgrade to keep her eyes and teeth sharp.
The current CO, Commander Jon Beadsmoore, has been in command for nearly 18 months and is on his fourth deployment. “This was the first ship I served in with the RNZN and as such is something of an alma mater for me,” he said. “I suspect the current crew are very much like all those before us, a broad range of ages and backgrounds and to a man or woman immensely proud of our ship.”
Picture: LT Brad King, with TE KAHA under every CO since her commissioning.