AUCKLAND, New Zealand (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson visited New Zealand, Nov. 2 and 3, to meet with New Zealand naval leadership to discuss deepening the U.S.-New Zealand naval partnership and recognize New Zealand’s role as a leader in regional security.
During the visit, Richardson met with his counterpart, Rear Adm. John Martin, Chief of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) to discuss opportunities to increase interoperability through more combined operations and personnel exchanges.
“We are two very like nations,” said Richardson. “We share the same values. We are two maritime nations. Our navies operate together, and we’re two nations that are dedicated to a free and open Indo-Pacific region that allows for the prosperity of everybody.”
Richardson presented a U.S. Meritorious Unit Citation (MUC) to the crew of the Anzac-class frigate HMNZS Te Kaha (FF 77) for supporting security in U.S. Seventh Fleet as part of the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in 2017.
The citation reads, “The synchronized efforts of this exceptional ship and crew enabled uninterrupted regional security, maritime operations, and training for the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group. By their truly distinctive accomplishments, perseverance, and devotion to duty, the officers and enlisted personnel of Her Majesty's New Zealand Ship Te Kaha (F77) reflected credit upon themselves and upheld the highest traditions of the naval service.”
“You served with strength in developing our interoperability as partners and deepening the trust and confidence between our countries and our navies” said Richardson, addressing the crew of Te Kaha.
While in New Zealand, Richardson also participated in a Powhiri ceremony, a traditional Maori ritual for welcoming guests and joining together.