PHILIPPINE SEA -- As part of a furthering of the relationship between the U.S. Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), a sailor assigned to Commander Task Force 70 was invited to, and attended, the Lead Leaders Leadership Course at the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland, New Zealand.
“The idea for the Lead Leaders course came from the Western Pacific Naval Symposium Senior Leaders Working Group,” said Warrant Officer of the Navy (RNZN), Wayne Dyke. And he’s been impressed with the caliber of attendees and what they’ve brought to the course. “This forum allows personnel from participating navies to be exposed to different leadership perspectives and provides opportunities for long-lasting partnerships to be formed at the NCO level. It widens and shares our Navy’s leadership journey and I hope it assists others.”
The invitation was extended by Dyke, to U.S. Seventh Fleet and CTF 70 Sailor Fire Controlman 1st Class Colenan Kirn, from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, attended the training in May 2019.
“There were about 25 of us attending the training and I was the only American,” said Kirn. “Even with the vast differences between our navies and the scope of our mission sets, there were a lot of similarities, which helped us work and learn together as a team.”
The Lead Leaders Leadership Course focused on teaching the participants from both navies different styles of leadership, equipped them with tools to train their subordinates and encouraged self-reflection to continually improve as a leader. The course enabled the participating Sailors to have an increased focus on management in their leadership role and adopt appropriate systems and processes to monitor and identify potential opportunities and setbacks in both their teams and their environments.
“Leadership training is a key part in developing our enlisted leaders serving on forward- deployed units in Task Force 70,” said Task Force 70 Command Master Chief, Jason
Haka. “This unique opportunity is an outstanding way to increase our Sailor’s understanding of leadership while strengthening the ties between our Royal New Zealand Navy counterparts.”
The invitation to the Lead Leaders Leadership Course exemplifies the deepening navy to navy ties between Royal New Zealand Navy and U.S. Seventh Fleet as part of an ongoing series of opportunities for U.S. Navy and RNZN Sailors. Earlier in 2019, two RNZN sailors were invited to, and competed in the prestigious U.S. Seventh Fleet Sailor of the Year competition against U.S. Navy Sailors from across the Western Pacific.
“The extraordinary closeness of our two nations is built and sustained by these kinds of experiences,” said Scott Brown, U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand. “To spend time together sharing and comparing perspectives and approaches is invaluable. We’re always learning from one another, and we’re all better for it.”
CTF 70 is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan and is the U.S. Seventh Fleet’s Battle Force maintaining control of all Aircraft Carriers, Cruisers and Destroyers in the to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.