25 Mar 2014

New Air Force chief named

3:50 pm on 25 March 2014

The Government has appointed a new Chief of Air Force.

Air Commodore Mike Yardley will be promoted to Air Vice-Marshal on Thursday and will take up a three-year appointment from 1 May.

Mike Yardley.

Mike Yardley. Photo: NZDF

Air Commodore Yardley said he would be looking to change the focus of the Air Force's leadership.

"Over the last three we've truly been focused on raising the safety levels," he said.

"While we need to obviously maintain and continue to grow those safety levels, we also now need to look at the operational side."

Air Commodore Yardley succeeds Air Vice-Marshal Peter Stockwell, who will leave the Defence Force next month after a 41-year career.

Air Vice-Marshal Kevin Short has been appointed Vice-Chief of Defence Force, and the new Commander Joint Forces New Zealand is Brigadier Tim Gall.

Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating said he was pleased with the appointments and looked forward to all three joining his senior leadership team.

"I am pleased these three have been chosen to fill these vital roles. They all have proven track records, and will bring a wealth of experience to the Defence Force's Senior Leadership Team. I'm looking forward to working with them."