Blenheim Branch Meeting

THE DEFENCE CAPABILITY PLAN 2019 - What it Means for the Best Little Air Force in the World

When: Thursday 26 September 2019 at 7.00pm
Where: Marlborough Aero Club –Clubrooms–100 Aerodrome Road Omaka
Speaker: Neil Hygate, MBA, BSc, MRAeS

Neil Hygate is well qualified to speak to us about the Defence Capability Plan that was released by the government mid this year –He is currently the Programme Director for all the Air Force related projects in the NZ Ministry of Defence –basically responsible for the delivery of some of the nation’s largest Defence capital projects including the new P-8A Poseidon and C130J Hercules fleets.

Neil had a 26-year RNZAF career in the Engineering Branch where he was involved in many diverse activities and projects,including but by no means limited to,the management of aeronautical engineering and maintenance, aircraft structures, aircrew selection, restructure of the RNZAF after the loss of the air combat force, director of all RNZAF Personnel and Defence representative in the office of the Minister of Defence. Following his RNZAF career Neil joined Australian Aerospace and moved to Brisbane where initially he became Program Manager of the Australian Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) –the Tiger. This was a very challenging project that he stayed with in this and subsequent roles with Australian Aerospace and later Airbus Group Australia Pacific (that Australian Aerospace became).

Neil’s last role with Airbus was Director Fixed Wing Strategic Projects where he managed the delivery of strategic transformation projects including integration of Safe Air (a company close to the heart of many of us) that was purchased by the Airbus Group, and “the strategic transformation project” to improve Airbus’ Maintenance Repair and Overhaul performance.

Neil returned to NZ in 2016 to take up his current role with the NZ Ministry of Defence.Neil’s presentation should provide us with some fascinating insights into the thinking behind current acquisition projects and the challenges involved in delivering them. It is likely that Neilwill field many questions from those in the audience passionate about the subject!

For those needing some pre-presentation “swat” try the link https://www.defence.govt.nz/publications/publication/defence-capability-plan-2019

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