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Sailor of the Year 2019

Sailor of the Year 2019

Acting/Leading Seaman Combat Specialist Sione Latu


16 October 2019


The Sailor of the year award recognises exceptional performance among junior rates, and the significant contribution they make to our navy in achieving our mission


2019's award winner is Acting/Leading Seaman Combat Specialist (A/LSCS) Sione Latu who joined the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) in October 2008 as an Ordinary Seaman Combat Specialist. A/LSCS Latu has developed into a quietly influential member of the RNZN and is an embodiment of the core values and qualities expected of the modern sailor. He is a natural leader who often prefers to exercise influence in the background rather than leading from the front.


A/LSCS Latu is described as 'consistently exceeding the expectations of his rank", evident in his initiative and undertaking of additional roles while delivering training and support for numerous ceremonial events at a level of a much senior sailor. His leadership, integrity, self-confidence and belief in himself is demonstrated in his courage to do what he believes is right and accepting responsibility for what needs to be done, regardless of the size or complexity of the task.


A/LSCS Latu is an exemplary sailor who continually demonstrates commitment to his trade, the Navy and the wider NZDF. For his readiness to commit and contribute selflessly to the Royal New Zealand Navy, A/LSCS Latu was awarded the Chief of Navy Commendation for Sailor of the year 2019.


Photo- A/LSCS Latu receiving the Sailor of the Year award from the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor.



Navy's massive new product launch... 

At a ceremony, the Navy’s first purpose-built ship in 10 years, AOTEAROA, finally found herself in her natural environment only eight months after her keel was laid in a South Korean shipyard.

It wasn't the dramatic launch of times past where a ship rolled down the slipway and into the water. AOTEAROA was constructed in the massive Hyundai Industries dry dock which simply filled with water and the ship floated off the blocks.

At 173m long, AOTEAROA is the largest ship the RNZN have ever had in her fleet. Now begins six months of fit out before her formal naming ceremony in October and Commissioning in early 2020.

Read more

AOTEAROA on the water for the first time following her launch on Wednesday 24 Apr, at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan, Republic of Korea


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