Army uncle and nephew on mission together
Family members from Matamata left New Zealand separately but have come together in one of the most remote parts of the Solomon Islands on Operation Pacific Partnership 13.
Warrant Officer 2 Brendon McDonald, and his nephew, Sapper Chad McDonald, both serve in the New Zealand Army in different roles, but have been working alongside one another at Banga Island, off Munda in the Solomons.
Sapper McDonald is a carpenter working at an engineering site at Tebaka Vocational School, where the team is improving the teacher’s accommodation. The duo have also spent several days together on board the amphibious sealift ship HMNZS Canterbury.
Warrant Officer 2 McDonald has been part of the advance party team, as well as the liaison for forces on board the Canterbury.
Pacific Partnership is a multinational mission involving service people and civilian volunteers from New Zealand, Australia, France, and the United States, working alongside host nations.
The mission is in the final phase for this year, completing a range of medical, engineering and community infrastructure development projects in the Solomon Islands from July 29 to August 12.
‘‘It is a great opportunity to put all our training into practice, working in a multiservice environment alongside a worthy and friendly host nation,’’ Warrant Officer 2 McDonald said.
‘‘ I’ve enjoyed the chance to immerse in village culture and developing a better understanding of Melanesian culture.
‘‘It’s a good chance to speak pidgin, and tok tok with the locals.’’