THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT
KLITSCHER Robin John
A926072, Air Vice Marshall, Royal New Zealand Air Force

CITATION
Companion of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)
Queen’s Birthday honours 1989
Air Commodore KLITSCHER joined the Territorial Air Force in 956 as a University Officer Cadet at Otago University.  Upon graduation from university
he was commissioned into the Regular Air Force and soon demonstrated the commitment and leadership which were to distinguish him in his future
career.  He graduated from flying training with a distinguished pass.  This was to be the hallmark of all subsequent flying courses he was to attend.
Air Commodore KLITSCHER’s subsequent career has encompassed a variety of flying and staff appointments.  He has served in the Maritime,
helicopter and training roles, an exchange tour with the RAF and a secondment to the RAAF (9 Squadron) in South Vietnam.  He has commanded
No 3 Squadron and RNZAF Base Auckland.  He is a graduate of the RNZAF Command and Staff Course, the RAF College Aerosystems Course, and
the Australian Joint Services Staff College.  While on exchange duties with the RAF Central Flying School he was awarded the highest attainable
flying instructor category.  Air Commodore KLITSCHER took up his current appointment as Air Officer Commanding RNZAF Operations Group in
1987.  Throughout his career Air Commodore KLITSCHER’s operational service has been exceptional and has been recognised by the award of the
Distinguished Flying Cross in 1972 and the Air Force Cross in 1980.  The qualities he has fostered in those under his command are professionalism
and dedication.  In his current appointment he has guided the RNZAF’s operational activities through a period of severe manpower constraints with
the confidence that stems from his deep understanding of air power. His vast operational experience has enabled him to exercise the strong
leadership necessary for the continued and uncompromising achievement of operational activities

Distinguished Flying Cross
NZ Gazette Number 71 dated 3 August 1972
Squadron Leader Klitscher commenced his operational tour in the Republic of Vietnam with No 9 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force in September 1970. During this tour he flew 3248 sorties for 963 hours flying hours as a pilot on Iroquois helicopters.  During his tour, he held the successive appointments of deputy flight commander, Task Force Commander’s representative at 1 Australian Task Force headquarters and senior flight commander.  In all appointments he demonstrated excellent leadership and supervisory abilities.  A typical example of this occurred on June 7, 1971, when Squadron Leader Klitscher and his flight were ordered to drop supplies of ammunition urgently required by Australian troops who were in contact with a large enemy force in heavy jungle. Squadron Leader Klitscher quickly realised that the air effort would not greatly assist the battle unless it was co-ordinated, and he therefore assumed control of all aircraft in the area. From over the battle zone, he directed and co-ordinated all activities of the various air elements, and in addition, when some aircraft captains were unable to see markers defining their targets, Squadron Leader Klitscher personally guided them to the required positions.  The initiative, devotion to duty and outstanding leadership displayed by Squadron Leader Klitscher in this and other air operations against the enemy is indicative of the valuable service given by him and his squadron in support of 1 Australian Task Force.

Air Force Cross
Queen's Birthday honours 1980
Wing Commander KLITSCHER joined the RNZAF in 1958 and has held a wide variety of appointments in both flying and staff posts.  He flew as an exchange officer with the RAF Central Flying School, saw active service as a helicopter pilot in South Vietnam, and currently holds the post of Senior Air Staff Officer in Operations Group Headquarters.  From July 1976 until December 1979 Wing Commander KLITSCHER held the post of Officer Commanding No 3 Squadron and was directly responsible for the conduct of RNZAF helicopter operations within New Zealand during that time.  This period was particularly challenging; serious problems were encountered with aircraft availability and, to an ever greater extent than with other squadrons, pilot experience levels were low.  Despite this, No 3 Squadron responded to every demand placed upon it, accomplishing each varied task with dispatch and efficiency in New Zealand and overseas.  During a search and rescue operation in Samoa in 1978 following an aircraft crash, the skill and devotion to duty of Wing Commander KLITSCHER were key factors in achieving the successful recovery of a stranded and distressed four-man search party and the crash victims.  Despite appalling weather conditions and extremely difficult terrain he carried out his task calmly and efficiently.  Again in April 1979, Wing Commander KLITSCHER’s flying skill and outstanding leadership ensured the success of the major disaster relief task following a hurricane in Fiji.  Under Wing Commander KLITSCHER’s command the professional standard of military helicopter operations in this country have reached a new level, one which is due to his exceptional skill as a pilot, his profound knowledge and understanding of the role of the helicopter in the battlefield and to his demonstration and introduction of new and innovative airborne tactics.  He has been instrumental in exhibiting the continued utility of his aircraft in modern armed warfare and, in doing so, has gained for himself and for the RNZAF the professional respect of New Zealand Army commanders at all levels.  Wing Commander KLITSCHER is a highly motivated and very professional officer.  Through his high professional standards, leadership and flying skills, he has made an outstanding contribution to military helicopter operations.

KNOWN AWARDS
Companion of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Force Cross
New Zealand Operational Service Medal
Queen's Vietnam Medal
New Zealand General Service Medal (Warlike)
Vietnam
New Zealand Armed Foorces Award and bar
New Zealand Defence Service Medal
Regular
Vietnam Star
1960

NOTES
Born 20 June 1936 Tauranga, New Zealand