New Zealand Army officer, Colonel Benjamin Bagley, has received the NATO Meritorious Service Medal for his exemplary leadership and devotion to duty while serving in Afghanistan.
The medal was presented to Coloney Bagley by Minister of Defence, Peeni Henare.
“It was an honour to present the NATO Meritorious Service Medal to Colonel Bagley in the presence of his whānau, Chief of Defence Force and the Chief of Army,” the Minister said.
“Our people are recognised as some of the best in the world and as ambassadors for our country they continue to do us all proud. Thank you, Colonel Bagley and, in particular, his whānau who have supported him throughout his career.”
Colonel Bagley was deployed to Afghanistan in the role of Director Future Operations in Kabul where his tenacity and tact in coordinating diverse stakeholders has enabled superior Force Management processes and the continuation of critical airfield services at Kandahar Airfield as ownership transitioned to Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the medal citation reads.
“As the Director Future Operations he has led the Resolute Support Force Management Board and has streamline a complex process which has enabled multi-nation capability to be maintained during a fluid period in the Mission’s history.”
“Colonel Bagley’s work as also resulted in continued airfield operations at a vital air node, enabling the continuation of civil and military flights which are essential to supporting the Afghanistan National Defence and Security Forces in Kandahar Province and Southern Afghanistan.”
It stated that on assuming his post, Colonel Bagley immediately assumed the additional responsibility to coordinate the handover of essential airfield services to the Afghanistan Ministry of Defence and became the central point of contact for Resolute Support, Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Ministry of Defence and Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority.
“He personally engaged with every branch of the Afghanistan National Defence and Security Forces and led a disparate group of stakeholders to develop solutions that enabled airfields to continue to function once handed over by the Mission.”
“His efforts resulted in the continuation of airfield security and airfield services on the handover of Kandahar Airfield and laid the foundations for the transition of other strategic airfields. In doing so he preserved capability and protected the reputation of the Resolute Support Mission.
“His superior efforts have been lauded by the Deputy Minister of Defence and Senior Leaders in the Afghanistan National Defence and Security Forces. Through his distinguished work ethic, Colonel Bagley has influenced, reassured, and assisted members from all services of the Afghanistan National Defence and Security Forces, all nations within the coalition, and every branch of the mission headquarters.”
Colonel Bagley has brought great credit upon himself, the New Zealand Defence Force, and the NATO Resolute Support Mission, the citation stated.
Congratulations to Colonel Bagley for this tremendous achievement – from the Inside Government NZ news team.