New Commander Joint Forces New Zealand

Defence Minister Ron Mark has today announced the next commander to lead New Zealand’s joint military operations and exercises. 

Commodore Jim Gilmour, who has more than 30 years service in the Navy, has been appointed by the Chief of Defence Force to take up the role of Commander Joint Forces New Zealand (COMJFNZ) at the rank of Rear Admiral in late September/early October.

 He replaces Major General Tim Gall, who will have completed more than four years in the role as COMJFNZ, and will retire after 40 years in the NZ Army.

 “This is a significant leadership role in the NZDF,” says Ron Mark. “Commodore Gilmour has an exceptional operational background, which includes commanding HMNZS Canterbury, the Royal New Zealand Air Force‘s Naval Helicopter Squadron and more recently serving as the Maritime Component Commander.

“I’m looking forward to working with Commodore Gilmour, I know he will do a great job. I’d also like to thank Major General Tim Gall for his service.  He has dedicated his life to the NZDF, he has been a fantastic officer and a success as COMJFNZ.  I wish him well in his future endeavours,” says Ron Mark.

Commander Joint Forces is responsible to the Chief of Defence Force for operational-level planning, command and control of all joint and/or combined (international) operations and exercises involving the NZDF.

Commodore Gilmour’s appointment is the fourth leadership announcement this year for the New Zealand Defence Force.

It follows the recent announcement of the new Service Chiefs for the Navy, Army and Air Force, and the earlier announcements of the new Chief of Defence Force and Vice Chief of Defence Force.

Commodore Gilmour

Commodore Gilmour joined the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) in 1985 and spent his formative years at sea conducting training, Bridge Watch-keeping, Helicopter Control, and as Navigating Officer.

In 1990, he was selected for pilot training and spent the next 14 years of his career in aviation roles including with the Royal New Zealand Air force’s No. 3 Squadron, as Flight Commander of HMNZ Ships WAIKATO and WELLINGTON where he completed a tour in the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Desert Shield in 1995.

His career in aviation included a posting to the Royal Australian Navy’s 723 Squadron as a Helicopter Flying Instructor before returning to New Zealand and assuming command of the RNZN’s helicopter support squadron, now known as No. 6 Squadron RNZAF. During his term he oversaw the introduction to service of the Seasprite helicopter.

Commodore Gilmour returned to the surface fleet in 2009. He commanded HMNZS Canterbury for two and a half years. He also oversaw the introduction into service of ship’s amphibious and aviation capabilities. This period also saw the ship involved in major exercises and a number of humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations including the Samoan Tsunami Relief effort and the response to the February 2011 Canterbury earthquake.

In mid to late 2011 Commodore Gilmour deployed to the Middle East Region as the Commander Task Force 151 and was responsible for counter-piracy operations in the South Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin.  He has also gained senior at sea command experience in major exercises such as RIMPAC.

Commodore Gilmour is currently the Chief of Strategy Management at Headquarters NZDF.