THOMSON, Murray John
Flight Sergeant, Royal New Zealand Air Force

CITATION
NZ Distinguished Service Decoration
Flight Sergeant THOMSON has served as an Aircraft Technician with the Naval Support Flight for the past 12 years. He is one of only a few technicians at his rank level who hold Delegated Engineering Authority, that is the authority to determine the technical airworthiness of the aircraft in his care. Since 2012 he has been the Senior Maintenance Rating on board HMNZS TE MANA with total responsibility for the operational availability of the ship’s Seasprite helicopter. Consequently, he had a significant influence on the operational capability of TE MANA during her recent deployment to the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden where she conducted anti-piracy operations as part of a NATO Task Force. In this role, he worked tirelessly to ensure that the members of his team were a fully-functioning element of the ship’s company with key roles to play as part of the damage control and emergency management teams on board. He also ensured that the aircraft was maintained at the highest level of operational serviceability and that his department was fully prepared to carry out the air support programme. As a result of his efforts the air component on board made an important contribution to the ship’s work-up and testing programme prior to deployment, and once on station, the Seasprite was able to successfully complete 95 per cent of assigned air support missions in support of the Task Force despite frequent operational programme changes.

Flight Sergeant THOMSON’s service to naval aviation since joining No 6 Squadron in 2002 has been exceptional and goes beyond that which could reasonably be expected from a person of his rank. He is the epitome of the experienced, professional and proficient team leader, and without his dedication and professionalism, HMNZS TE MANA would not have been able to achieve the significant level of contribution to the Combined Task Force, and to NATO, that it did during its deployment.


KNOWN AWARDS
NZ Distinguished Service Decoration
NZ Operational Service Medal

NOTES
Born
Died
THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT