Melton man given top New Zealand military award

Former Melton man Alan Inkpen with his Chief of Defence Force Commendation medal awarded by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) for his outstanding contribution to their Explosive Detection Dog programme EMN-190723-151934001
Former Melton man Alan Inkpen with his Chief of Defence Force Commendation medal awarded by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) for his outstanding contribution to their Explosive Detection Dog programme EMN-190723-151934001
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A former Melton man has been given a prestigious honour for his work with New Zealand forces in Afghanistan in training military dogs to seek out explosives.

Alan Inkpen, who has lived most of his life in the town, was awarded a Chief of Defence Force Commendation by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

The honour is only given out for performance well above that usually expected of a person performing their role.

Mr Inkpen joined the NZDF in July 2012, bringing with him vast experience as a former Warrant Officer in the British Army as he introduced an Explosive Detection Dog capability to meet an urgent operational need in Afghanistan.

In late 2012 he deployed to Bamyan Province to conduct in-theatre training and certification of the dogs and their handlers under significant operational pressure.

He said: “I would say I was just doing my job.

“However, I believe it helps to recognise the importance of the work that has been conducted on behalf of NZDF by all the people who have been involved.”

His citation highlights the ‘major role’ he has played in developing a Military Working Dog capability to support Special Forces operations for the NZDF.