New Defence Force Chief Appointed

  • Bill English

Defence Minister Max Bradford today announced the Governor-General has approved the appointment of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshal C W (Carey) Adamson, AFC, to replace Lieutenant General A L (Tony) Birks, CB, OBE, as the Chief of Defence Force.

General Birks is retiring after 39 years of service, including four years as the Chief of Defence Force (extended from the usual three years).

Air Vice-Marshal Adamson takes up the Chief of Defence Force position for a period of three years from 25 February 1999. He will move up to the rank of Air Marshal.

Also approved was the appointment of Air Commodore D M (Don) Hamilton, OBE, as Chief of Air Staff for a period of two years in the rank of Air Vice-Marshal from 25 February 1999, to succeed Air Vice-Marshal Adamson. Air Commodore Hamilton is currently serving as Deputy Chief of Air Staff.

Mr Bradford said he was delighted by both appointments.

"The Government's recent decisions on re-equipping the Army, Navy and Air Force will place heavy demands on the leadership of the Defence Force," Mr Bradford said.

"Air Vice-Marshal Adamson and Air Commodore Hamilton have demonstrated considerable capability in the management of change over many years and their appointments will provide the Government, the NZDF and the Air Force respectively with the required advice, leadership and management during what will be a challenging and busy period."