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New Air Force Chief begins role

Air Vice-Marshal Darryn Webb has officially commenced his duties this month as the new Chief of Air Force.

03 October, 2023

His predecessor, Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Clark, has been appointed as the Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau.

Air Vice-Marshal Webb underwent a formal Change of Command parade recently at RNZAF Base Ohakea.

He has served in the Air Force for 33 years and has accumulated more than 6,000 hours of flying, conducting multiple operational missions and deployments.

He has commanded Air Force units at every level and held strategic portfolios including Defence Capability and Strategic Commitments and Engagements. Air Vice-Marshal Webb was Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine, seconded into the All of Government response. He was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the 2022 New Year Honours list for services to the Defence Force in recognition of this role.

During the parade, Air Vice-Marshal Webb reflected on his memories growing up around Ohakea air base.

A man in a Royal New Zealand Air Force uniform standing at a microphone.

Air Vice-Marshal Webb speaks during the change of command ceremony.

“My connections with the Air Force runs deep and it’s an absolute privilege to stand here this afternoon.” He then addressed the aviators in the crowd and on parade.

“We continue to stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, and we benefit from their effort and contribution. But now it’s our turn, it’s your turn to add your own stitch or thread to the tapestry that is the RNZAF."

“I ask you to make that stitch vibrant, make it strong and make it last. The future has many challenges coming at us across the horizon. It will probably require us to be concurrently deployed around the world, it will require us to work even more closely with our critical partners.”

He then quoted the Chief of Defence Force, Air Marshal Kevin Short who said “we need to be prepared to fight and we need to be prepared to win”.