Former Pleasant Point student gets defence force commendation
A former Pleasant Point man will receive a a Chief of Defence Force Commendation for his work and "exceptional commitment" after the November 14 Kaikoura earthquake.
NZDF Wellington region facilities manager Jared Clarke was at work within an hour of a 7.8 magnitude quake whose force damaged many buildings in the city.
Defence House, in Thorndon, was damaged and Clarke quickly swung into disaster response and began the first damage assessment.
His work meant all potentially unsafe downtown defence facilities were closed within hours.
He also established a container-based incident management control centre at Trentham Camp and improved the procedures to be used in the event of another disaster, the citation supporting Clarke's commendation says.
In the days and weeks that followed, he ensured NZDF management had timely and accurate information, and that its critical equipment were recovered from Defence House. He also helped helped establish operations in the Freyberg Building.
"During this time, his ability to anticipate and arrange support in the confused and ever-changing environment post earthquake is unsurpassed," the citation released by NZDF says.
"Jared Clarke's exceptional commitment, positivity and effectiveness throughout this very demanding time were well above what is expected from any employee and he was a major contributor to the success of the Defence Force's response to this incident.
"He is a deserving recipient of a Chief of Defence Force Commendation."
When contacted, Clarke said he believed the commendation also recognised the work of the many people who responded to quake.
"I was surprised when I was told but it was a team effort."
An NZDF spokesman said a date had yet to be set for the official commendation ceremony.
The former Defence House is in the process of being demolished. The new headquarters is at a leased building nearby.