New defence chief named

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 09:24 10/12/2013
Tim Keating

TOP JOB: Army Major General Tim Keating.

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New Zealand Army Major General Tim Keating has been announced as the new Defence Force chief.

Currently the Vice Chief of Defence Force, Major General Keating will be promoted to Lieutenant General and take over from Lieutenant General Rhys Jones early next year.

The former SAS Commanding Officer joined the Army in 1982, and served on tour in Afghanistan.

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said Keating was a "strong, credible" leader with more than 32 years experience in the Defence Force.

Keating was the camp commander at the Linton Military Camp between December 2007 and June 2009.

He has extensive organisational management, leadership, and operational experience, and is well respected within the NZDF, and the international defence community.

“During his time as Vice Chief, he has ably supported the CDF in uniting the NZDF around a strategic, cohesive vision for a future Defence Force. He has been able to translate strategic ideas into practical and achievable plans, particularly for use on the frontline,” Coleman said.

Keating has held various command positions in the army.

As well being Commanding Officer 1 NZSAS Group, he was also a Commandant Officer Cadet School, and Commander 2nd Land Force Group.

He deployed to Afghanistan as the Commander of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, Bamiyan in 2005.

Keating holds a Master of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College, Pennsylvania.

In 2008 he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Major General Keating took over as Chief of Army in February 2011.

In December 2012, he was appointed Vice Chief of Defence Force.

His three-year term as chief will begin February 1.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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