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RNZAF Corporal takes top Defence award

A corporal with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) has been named the New Zealand Defence Force’s 2019 Person of the Year.

Corporal Reiner Angelo (pictured) is an aircraft technician from RNZAF Base Auckland in Whenuapai.

The announcement was made by Chief of Defence Force, Air Marshal Kevin Short at Devonport Naval Base.

Corporal Angelo – who was named Airman of the Year last month for exemplifying the Defence Force’s core values of courage, commitment and comradeship and for his constant pursuit of excellence – was chosen ahead of nine other category winners.

His Person of the Year 2019 citation said he had taken on significant projects and had a positive impact on RNZAF capabilities.

“His ability to apply critical thinking enabled him to rectify a complex issue related to the Boeing 757 aircraft within the Systems Applications Projects system, something not achieved since the aircraft’s induction in 2005,” the citation said.

Corporal Angelo’s commitment and mission-first focus was epitomised when he volunteered to cut short his Christmas leave to deploy to the United Kingdom as part of the Boeing engine recovery team, ensuring serviceable aircraft parts were available to meet operational demands.

Corporal Angelo’s contribution to his Service and the community was also noted. He is the technical director of Operation Tangata Kanorau, the RNZAF’s innovative community outreach program.

He has also contributed to the RNZAF’s Schools to Skies scheme since its inception, helping showcase science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers for young women.