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New boss for Defence Force

Published: 5:45PM Monday December 06, 2010 Source: ONE News

Major General Rhys Jones has today been named the new boss of New Zealand's Defence Force.

The current head of the Army takes over from Lieutenant-General Jerry Mateparae in the new year.

Originally from Timaru, Jones will head 15,000 staff from the Army, Air Force and Navy.

He has only been given a three year appointment, instead of the usual five-year term, because the Prime Minister wants to monitor his progress in a major review of defence force spending.

Jones enlisted into the New Zealand Army in December 1978 and attended the Royal Military College, Duntroon Australia from 1979 to 1982.

He graduated into the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps at the rank of Lieutenant in December 1982, with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Jones said he was looking forward to the challenges his new role will bring and paid tribute to his family who have helped him throughout his career.

"My wife and children have had to live with the stresses and strains of being a military family; the constant moves and long periods of me being away during critical times in their lives."

Jones will officially take up this position on January 24.