New Zealand Chief of Army Major General Dave Gawn has been appointed to lead the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) as Head of Mission/Chief of Staff.
Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Tim Keating said this is a significant achievement for Major General Gawn and for NZ Defence Force.
“We are known as a force which trains and equips its personnel to succeed. Around the world, NZ Defence Force has a great reputation for its professionalism, leadership and skills,” Lieutenant General Keating said.
“Major-General Gawn’s appointment to this role is testament to his strong leadership. His ability to undertake a significant role on the international stage is an achievement he can be extremely proud of.”
Major General Gawn will take over from current Head of Mission/Chief of Staff, Major General Michael Finn of Ireland.
UNTSO was the first peacekeeping operation established by the United Nations, with the first military observers arriving in the Middle East in June 1948.
UNTSO’s activities are spread over five host countries – Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syrian Arab Republic.
UNTSO military observers in the Middle East monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating and assist other peacekeeping operations in the region to fulfil their respective mandates.
Twenty-six countries contribute military personnel to the mission, including Australia, Ireland, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United States.
Currently eight NZ Defence Force personnel are serving with UNTSO.
While appointed as Head of Mission/Chief of Staff UNTSO, United Nations’ protocols mean Major General Gawn will wear a New Zealand Army Uniform, but will not be a member of the NZ Defence Force.
It is likely Major General Gawn will take up his new role on 1 August 2015.
NZ Defence Force wishes Major General Gawn well in his new role.
A new Chief of Army will be announced in due course.
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