Who Is this Chap?

This image was taken of the bust of a a very famous person who has been involved in supporting many Navies of the world.  Who is he and what was his involvement?


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New Zealand General Service Medals have been instituted to recognise service in Iraq and the greater Middle East since 2014.

9 July 2016
The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Iraq 2015) recognises service in building the capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces. The medal will be awarded to NZDF personnel who deploy on this training mission.

Around 100 NZDF personnel and some 300 Australian Defence Force troops have formed a joint training mission at Camp Taji, Iraq.

“This training is focused on individual skills, weapons handling, first aid, live-fire and close quarters marksmanship, obstacle breaching techniques, counter-IED (Improvised Explosive Device) tactics, and techniques for squad through to company-level operations, map reading, and team leadership,” Mr Brownlee says.

“These New Zealand men and women have delivered great results with their training in what has proved to be a tough environment.

“It is a testament to their commitment that they have delivered very tangible improvements in skills and attitudes in the Iraqi personnel they have trained.

“All New Zealanders can be proud of their efforts.”

The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Greater Middle East) recognises service of 30 days or more on general regional security operations in the greater Middle East since 7 December 2014.

This medal will be awarded to NZDF personnel who deploy on general regional security operations in the Middle East. It can also be awarded to those involved in supporting the training mission in Iraq from other locations in the Middle East.

Crews of the P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft and HMNZS Te Kaha, serving as part of the Combined Task Force 150, which successfully identified and intercepted drug smugglers trafficking almost 260 kg of heroin in 2015, are eligible to be awarded the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Greater Middle East).

Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, said: “These NZDF personnel are representing New Zealand well in a wide range of roles across the Middle East.

“Often working as a small part of a Coalition Headquarters or formation, they are regarded highly by our allies and the general comments I hear are that they are punching well above their weight.”

Mr Brownlee says 640 personnel will be awarded these medals in the coming months. Another 100 personnel currently deployed to Camp Taji, and the 40 personnel supporting operations from other locations in the Middle East, will receive their medals when they return to New Zealand later this year.

More information
The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 was introduced to recognise service in operational theatres. This medal has been used to recognise service in Afghanistan (since 2001), on counter-terrorism missions elsewhere in the Middle East and in the Indian Ocean (2001-2014), Counter Piracy (since 2009), Iraq (2003-2014), Korea (since 2001), Solomon Islands (since 2000) and Timor Leste (2006-2012). Unique ribbon designs differentiate between operations.

The ribbons. The ribbons for both new medals have been designed by Mr Phillip O’Shea, the New Zealand Herald of Arms.

New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Iraq 2015) ribbon:
The ribbon colours are (from left to right) red, white, green, yellow, green, white, red. These colours symbolise sand (yellow), the flora (green) with white symbolising peace and truth, and the traditional military colour of red.

Red, white and green also reflect the colours on national flags of the region.

The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Greater Middle East) ribbon:
The ribbon colours are (from left to right) are yellow, green, white, blue, white, green, yellow. These colours symbolise the arid nature of the regions (yellow), the flora (green) with white symbolising peace and truth, and blue for the oceans and seas of the region.

Green and white also reflect the colours in many of the national flags of the region.

The Regulations. The Regulations for the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Iraq 2015) can be viewed as text / html at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2016/0165/latest/DLM6898701.html?src=qs (on the Parliamentary Counsel Office’s New Zealand Legislation website).

The Regulations for the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Greater Middle East) can be viewed as text / html at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2016/0166/latest/DLM6898801.html?src=qs (on the Parliamentary Counsel Office’s New Zealand Legislation website).

Currently serving personnel. Eligible currently serving personnel do not need to take any action. Their medals will be issued within the next four weeks from NZDF Personnel Archives and Medals to their current New Zealand based military unit or to Devonport Naval Base for Ships which are currently on deployment.

Ex-service persons. Eligible ex-Service persons should complete our electronic contact form for enquiries about medals eligibility, issuing or replacement of medals and include the best address for a day-time courier delivery of their medal.

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18 July 2016
Changes to the eligibility rules for the existing ten New Zealand military long service awards are expected to be announced by early 2017, once the governing Royal Warrants and accompanying regulations are in place.










Additional work is currently being undertaken on the definitions of ‘Efficient Service’ and ‘Character and Conduct’.

As advised on 25 August 2015, the existing long service awards will remain, but the entitlement criteria will allow all eligible New Zealand military service to be counted. For example, service will be able to be accumulated rather than continuous (as is currently required for some awards). This will deliver a fairer system while maintaining the standing of the long service awards.

The appropriate long service award issued will reflect the majority of each recipient’s service. Persons who already have a long service award will continue to wear the award they have. There will be no swapping of awards.

Current serving military personnel will not need to apply for their long service entitlement to be assessed under the new rules. They will be automatically assessed via the data in their SAP HCM records. Please note that given the number of eligible personnel it may take around six to nine months after the announcement to confirm and issue the medal entitlement for every current serving military Service person.

Applications from eligible ex-Service persons will be called for in 2017.

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Warrant Officer Radio Supervisor Gary Rzepecky

Just to advise that one of our shipmates, Ex Warrant Officer Radio Supervisor Gary Rzepecky has been diagnosed with a health issue for which the prognosis is not too good. Zeppy as we fondly know him, has a faulty heart valve, damaged heart muscle and damage to his lungs. He is going to have an angio and then another echogram to see if anything can be done to extend his prognosis of two years.


He has had to give up work, will be going on a terminal benefit. Not allowed to fly, drive, drink alcohol, eat fish and chips or carry out any physical activity. Spare a thought for our shipmate and his wife Anne, and family.  If you wish to send Zeppy a private message, please forward to zeponthames@xtra.co.nz

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Back in 1978 I was posted to the DDCEW Cell, Naval Staff, Wellington (HMNZS Wakefield).

In November 1978, the RNZN conducted a “Longex” exercise which included USS NIAGARA FALLS. Before the exercise began, the USS Niagara Falls and HMNZS Otago were berthed in Suva, Fiji. I was tasked with delivering a classified bag each in Suva. I delivered Otago’s bag, then I delivered Niagara Falls bag which was berthed behind Otago to a Radioman Chief (RMC) Jerry Whitworth who was the Niagara Falls communications officer. I duly returned to Auckland on the Niagara Falls as the communications liaison officer. RMC Whitworth was the perfect host and it was a great experience for me. I had access to their “Radio Central” (BWO/MCO). The only thing I was not allowed to look at was any signal that had a classification “NOFORN” written on it, which meant “No Foreign Eyes”.

After arrival back in Auckland, I disembarked USS Niagara Falls, and subsequently hosted RMC Jerry Whitworth during his stay. It was the least I could do after the hospitality shown by him and other Niagara Falls crew, including their Captain.

Now the interesting part, a USN Chief Warrant Officer and communications specialist, a John A Walker was the number 1 KGB asset during much of the Cold War. Walker befriended Jerry Whitworth, who would become a Navy senior chief petty officer/senior chief radioman, agreed to help Walker access highly classified communications data in 1973. A transfer had stopped Walker’s access to the data the Soviets wanted, but he recruited Whitworth to keep the data flowing—softening the idea of espionage by telling him the data would go to Israel, an ally of the United States.
This espionage ring was all happening, and had been so for a number of years, even while I was being hosted by Whitworth onboard his ship, and later in Auckland while I was his host in 1978.

To me Whitworth was just like anybody else you come in contact with. There was absolutely nothing to suspect that was suspicious during our time together. In fact he gave me his home address in San Francisco where his family lived if I ever wanted to visit him.

The YouTube link below was produced for Office of U.S. Naval Intelligence and Naval Investigative Service Command and can be viewed by clicking HERE or for further reading click HERE

John Walker has since died 2014 in a Federal Prison in North Carolina.

Jerry Alfred Whitworth was sentenced to 365 years for his part in the Walker family spy ring, which, at the time of Whitworth’s arrest, US authorities described as “the most damaging espionage ring uncovered in the United States in three decades.


Whitworth (now 77) is located at Atwater, US Penitentiary , and his release date is 15 March 2196.  For his Federal Prison link click HERE and type in 78095-011

Thanks John B for the interesting tale.  Remember Communicators BE VILIGENT!

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Brent Bramley has made initial enquiries for the production of a Lapel Badge based on the above photo to commemorate the loss of the 74 from the USS Frank E Evans on 3 June 1969. This badge is suitable for wearing with your Civilian Dress on Formal and Informal occasions.

Anticipated cost, which includes postage to your home address from Australia is NZ$15, or, within Australia AU$12. A minimum of fifty pre paid orders is required, or the costs will rise considerably. Payment within New Zealand can be made direct to my Co-Operative Bank (PSIS) Account, and will not attract Overseas Transfer Fees. Payment in Australia can be made direct to my Westpac Account.

Expressions of interest are called for from all Blackpool shipmates of the 1968 -1969 Far East Trip. Please PM me, or email: brentbramley@optusnet.com.au – advising how many Badges you want.

Can you all also bring this notice to the attention of those shipmates who are not on internet, as I’m sure that all of us would like to pay our respects to the 74 of the Frank E Evans each and every time we put our tiddly Civvie rig on!!

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This is an image of some of the ships company of HMNZS IRIRANGI taken outside the Frigate Block in Waiouru Camp.  When was it taken – Late 1976/early 1977 What was the occasion – Funny hat competition,  and can you name any of these sailors?


L-R   Stan Stobie, Mick Burrett, Dave Johnson (EO),  Jock Hilton, Wade Marshall, Lloyd Mitchell, Woolf Walsh, Ron Bryant,, Lawrence Hunt, Rueban Waaka?, ?, David Jones, Frank Maika, Ron Bryant, Dave Paku, Vince Pakinga, Waaka Nathan, Hooky Walker, ?, George Randall, ?, Ian Napier

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