FORREST, Athol James
Group Captain, Royal New Zealand Air Force

Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM)
New Year Honours 1998

New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration
New Year Honours 31 December 2012
Group Captain FORREST currently holds a unique position as the first New Zealand Defence Force officer posted to the role of Deputy Chief of Staff to the Headquarters Papua New Guinea (PNG) Defence force in Port Moresby. Since October 2009 he has worked closely with Brigadier Francis AGWI, Chief of the PNG Defence Force, providing policy advice and coordinating the work of the Defence Headquarters, which included the challenging task of preparing the PNG Defence White Paper, as well as project plans and budgets. His appointment has coincided with a tumultuous period of contested political leadership that has created rifts in Papua New Guinean society and placed its Defence Force under considerable pressure. As a direct result of the counsel he provided to Brigadier AGWI, the PNG Defence Force did not take sides during many constitutional challenges taking place, especially at the end of 2011.  As a consequence, the PNG Defence Force was able to provide a stabilising influence within the country.

Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit
New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration