Female commander takes over navy ship

Last updated 07:43 16/11/2012

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For the first time, a woman will today take over command of one of the navy's major ships.

Gisborne's Commander Sandra Walker will take the bridge of the tanker HMNZS Endeavour at a ceremony at Devonport, replacing Commander Keith Robb.

She is not the first woman to take over a ship: In June 2010 Lieutenant Alex Hansen was given the captaincy of the inshore patrol vessel HMNZS Pukaki.

The Change of Command Ceremony will be officiated by the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Tony Parr.

Women were first enlisted into the navy in the seagoing career trades in the early 1990s, and Commander Walker joined the navy soon afterward.

With a laden displacement of 12,300 tonnes, Endeavour is a purpose-built oil tanker that supplies fuel, at sea, to other ships.

It was built in Korea in 1988.

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