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The 2009 Defense Review.

datePosted on 21:04, October 13th, 2009 by Pablo

Public consultation meetings about the 2009 Defense Review, which will result in a White Paper being published in early 2010, have now concluded. Yet, although the formal submission deadline for individuals and groups has passed, the review committee would be ill-advised to ignore short-term late submissions when they have another 4-5 months to go before the final draft of the White Paper is published. Late does not always mean never. You can access the terms of reference and information about submissions here

It is important that those of the Left of the political spectrum and progressives in general get involved in defence and security issues on an on-going basis, and for them to avoid knee-jerk abhorrence or avoidance of national security issues except when it is topical or effects them directly (such as in the Zaoui case or that of the Urewera 17). Ignoring defense and security issues leaves the field of  play open to security conservatives and the Right in general, including pro-nuclear and abjectly pro-US  elements within the political spectrum. Allowing their views and those of the defense and security bureaucracy to go unchallenged is to concede to them the terms of debate and skews the tone of the White Paper in a conservative-Right direction. That is not healthy for a mature democracy.

In order to do so, however, the Left needs to have something smart to say and not simply repeat the usual pacifist/anti-imperialist mantras. Having the Green Party lead the Left on defense is a non-starter (however well-intentioned the Greens may be) because of their adherence to the pacifist/anti-imperialist line, and the Labour Party is equally unrepresentative of the range of Left thought on defense issues. That leaves a void where the informed Left should be: New Zealand may be small and physically isolated, but it has real security needs and obligations to the international community that require its involvement in foreign military adventures, be they multilateral or bilateral in nature. Simple distaste for the military and police does not cut it when addressing the fundamentals of national security in a small state such as this. What is needed is a Left-progressive critique and plan for near-term security requirements, something that can involve a number of alternative prescriptions based upon notions on humanitarian assistance, non-intervention, multilateralism, peace-keeping and nation-building, non-traditional security concerns (such as environmental degradation and pandemics) and/or non-proliferation (nuclear and conventional). The Left can  (indeed, must) offer recommendations about how and when NZDF personnel are deployed abroad, under what chain of command, and for what purposes (something that at the moment is left to the government of the day). All of this requires some degree of understanding of national security and defense requirements, including strategic and technical issues.

For example, I would advise in favour of a restored close air support (CAS) /ground-attack RNZAF capability that would be used to cover NZDF troops involved in UN- or regional organisation-sanctioned peace-keeping and nation-building duties (to include counter-insurgency operations in failed states). That means that Kiwi pilots would protect Kiwi ground troops in the event that they are at imminent peril, thereby diminishing NZDF reliance on foreign air cover in circumstances when time is of the essence (since foreign air wing commanders, faced with a choice of protecting their own or allied troops in a fluid combat environment with amorphous fronts, will inevitably support their own at the expense of their allies). Such scenarios occur more frequently than the public may realise, and in fact has occurred in East Timor in the last decade (which resulted in the death of an NZDF trooper at the hands of Indonesian forces resisting Timorese independence). In any event, such a CAS capability could involve rotary or fixed wing platforms depending on budgetary constraints and operational requirements 

I would love to get involved in this process but I live abroad and have not been asked. Instead, security conservatives in my former department and other NZ universities have a lock on academic submissions to the Review regardless of their actual “expertise” on such matters. Thus as it stands the Review process is stacked to the Right, and the White Paper will reflect that. For no other reason, this is why the Left needs to get involved in the Review process, because it will be too late once the White Paper is published (and it should be noted that the Review Committee is comprised of former military and/or defense officials).

I have very strong views on how the NZDF should look and how it should be deployed abroad given its international role and reputation. This includes views about the defense budget (both as a percentage of GDP as well as in terms of relative outlays to weapons acquisitions and personnel), force configuration and strategic orientation. But since I cannot weigh in on the subject, I hope that others will. I therefore urge you and your like-minded acquaintences to make your informed views known ASAP, as the deadline for submissions has passed but the Review Committees deliberations have not. Should the committee refuse your submission, enlist an MP or publicly agitate for its inclusion and consideration. Being late does not mean you should not be heard.

27 Responses to “The 2009 Defense Review.”

  1. SPC on October 13th, 2009 at 22:42

    National has cited no need for a fighting capability in the air force (on the basis that it has never been used in the past, speaking to the Skyhawks) and now with the suggested move towards developing an ANZAC force (which one would presume have air cover provided by them) there has been no great questioning of this.

    The consensus on capability developing seems to be around two principles – affordability and adequate provision, being selective on what capability there is and doing this well.

    I have noted no particular focus on whether there should be more than a transport role for helicopters.

    PS One wonders how any decision to only fight with nations prepared to train with us might influence the outcome of such a review?

  2. Stuart Mackey on October 14th, 2009 at 08:05

    National has cited no need for a fighting capability in the air force (on the basis that it has never been used in the past, speaking to the Skyhawks) and now with the suggested move towards developing an ANZAC force (which one would presume have air cover provided by them) there has been no great questioning of this.

    That’s what they say, but I remember nationals performance over that whole issue and my abiding memory is a party that had no clue what the defence forces, air strike in particular, were actually for and could not therefore advance any argument for the ACF retention. And from what I have seen from Mapp’s performance to date, over LAV numbers esp, that situation has not changed.

  3. SPC on October 14th, 2009 at 11:54

    My abiding memory of the last National government (1990-1999) was that funding for defence actually fell and that it was Labour which had to increase spending to afford improved pay and upgrade equipment (of that the standouts have been procurement competency and the doubts about the advisability of so many LAVS and the delay in getting new Hercules).

  4. Richard A on October 14th, 2009 at 11:56

    I consider myself on the left side of the spectrum and I have made a submission, so your preaching to teh converted here! :)

    With regard to CAS I made sure to make special mention to UAVs. They are rapidly taking the place of combat aircraft and at a fraction of the price {About 1/3 I believe}. So NZ is no longer ‘priced out of the market’ in this capability area.

    I also made special mention of the need for multilateral expeditions. Simply put, NZ is too small to tackle problems when they threaten us directly. So we ought to handle them when they are still small and far off. This fact influences most other aspects of defence policy, especially what capabilites we need to invest in {Specifically a means to get overseas!}

  5. Pablo on October 14th, 2009 at 12:16

    Stuart: Cheers for visiting and commenting. I have enjoyed your informed opinions on defense matters in other forums.

    Richard: Good on ya for making a submission. You are right about UAVs and there is a small firm in South Auckland that is in the process of producing what they claim are stealth rotary platforms (which so far the NZ govt is not interested in but which has attracted the attention of foreign governments). The terms and conditions for any multilateral deployment are definitely worth spelling out as a matter of policy.

    SPC: I agree with Stuart that National has a less than stellar track record on defense, and as you note, it was the party in government when defense expenditures dropped markedly, the LAVs were ordered, the (as of yet non-deployable) MPVs were commissioned and troop retention rates plummeted. I am not that confident that the current Minister is up to the task of anything more than being an NZDF cheerleader, which means defense bureaucrats and uniforms will dominate the Review. That is not all bad since there are plenty of competent officials and officers in the defense bureaucracy, but it advises strongly in favour of informed external input to balance the in-house views. That, I fear, may not eventuate, hence the belated call to arms theme of the post.

  6. Andrew W on October 14th, 2009 at 17:01

    These days CAS can effectively be provided in many situation with guided munitions launched from a considerable distance.

  7. SPC on October 14th, 2009 at 19:55

    Pablo

    The Minister appears to be taking advice from those of the military and is considering exchanging some of the one type LAVS for LAV vehicles which offer specialised capability (which have been developed in recent years) and also non LAV ones.

  8. Pablo on October 14th, 2009 at 20:59

    SPC: The Minister might be better advised to use the money earned from selling off the surplus LAVs (and there are at least 50 of them) to recondition the M113s National decided to forsake. A combination of tracked and wheeled APCs would seem to be the sensible way to go.

    Andrew: I hear what you are saying but ground-to-ground CAS assumes precise intel about where the front line is and leaves little room for adjustment once the trigger has been pulled. An air based CAS allows for last minute adjustments based upon tactical intel flows in real time from the front lines.

    This is exactly the sort of debates NZ should be having with regards to the Review. I could add a mouthful about maritime interdiction and blue water versus coastal defence, but shall spare you for now.

  9. Stuart Mackey on October 15th, 2009 at 01:14

    My abiding memory of the last National government (1990-1999) was that funding for defence actually fell and that it was Labour which had to increase spending to afford improved pay and upgrade equipment (of that the standouts have been procurement competency and the doubts about the advisability of so many LAVS and the delay in getting new Hercules).

    I agree entirely with you on Nationals issues with defence, especially with respect to pay and retention, although I think the LAV numbers were the absolute minimum to deploy a battalion, and not one that is expected to enter serious combat. The issue we have with the LAV fleet is the lack of competent staff to maintain them all, even those in mothballs, which goes back to retention and recruitment.
    I would also suggest that selling half of them is not the wisest idea if one is assumes the armed forces are to enter in combat, machines wear out rapidly from extended rough use and must be refitted and repaired and there must be replacements, and every once and a while they get destroyed by enemy action.
    If we sell half of the fleet we will no longer have protected transport for a battalion or have any vehicles left for training, that does not include attrition replacements for wear and tear or enemy action. Is worthy of pointing out that this does not just apply to just LAV’s it applies to pretty much anything, M113 or or even M3 Bradley’s if that’s ones preferred option.
    To further that point, to sustain a deployed force you actually need three units: one deployed, one working up to deploy and one reconstituting and these units all need equipment. Frankly, anything less and your armed forces are not much more than a façade, if one has an expectation that they enter in actual combat or even sustained ‘peace keeping’, in short, all show and no substance.

  10. Richard A on October 15th, 2009 at 08:50

    Stuart: I totally agree with on what you have said. But It needs to be said that the original concept was to equip 1st battalion and a company from 2nd/1st battalion with APCs and QAMR with fire support vehicles {70+24}. Somewhere along the line it was decided that it would be best to entirely equip both battalions with APCs and after it was discovered that non-turreted LAVs were more expensive than turreted LAVs all of them were to be capable of fire support. Also, Deploying an entire Battalion is a significant chanellge for the Army and even in Timor Leste a company in the Battalion came from other nations. Most deployments are aimed to be company strength. {Which I presume is why the Canterbury can accomadate a LAV company and a Log Compnay to support it}

    Pablo: I’m curious, Exactly what is it you have against the LAV? I’ve only heard positive things about it. And the Canadians have alot of good things to say about its performance in Afghanistan. Also, the Americans recently converted two more heavy brigades {M1s/M2s} to Stryker brigades. I’ve heard complaints about the M113 ranging from its a worn out piece of sh*t to its a fu*knig death trap {Army guys talking}.
    There maybe some advantages in cross country mobility {assuming the things are running that day} but I would have thought these would have been more than offset by advantages in Protection, Firepower, C3, STA, Maintenance, deployabiity, life cycle support and upgrade path.

    I’d be very interested in hearing the dissenting arguements :)

  11. Pablo on October 15th, 2009 at 13:40

    Stuart: I believe a LAV-equipped mechanised battalion was a bit too pretentious given NZDF resources and numbers (for reasons Richard alludes to) and the 1-1-1 rotation and maintenance scenario you describe (which is also a major reason why the US Army finds itself stretched thin in its deployments and has had to shorten the time spent on returned service leave, leading to morale issues). My view is that defense bureaucrat ambitions overcame more pragmatic assessments of what was feasible, and National bought into the logic.

    Richard: Thanks for that. I have heard and read mixed reviews on the LAVs. My main concerns are that 1) wheeled vehicles are ill-suited for much of the terrain in which NZDF troops operate (regional theaters specifically); 2) they are vulnerable to close-range small arms and RPG fire, which again, is a function of the terrain and probably scenarios indicate that NZDF will deploy in swampy, mountainous, jungle environments; 3) the absence of a quick lift capability (the C-130s can only carry one stripped down LAV approximately 1500 K, so in effect all the LAVs have to be sea-deployed, which presumes a major operational build-up rather than a quick response).

    Then there was the issue of cost. The MoD went with the costliest option rather than upgrade the M113s or purchase European alternatives. Th M113s may be pigs but they are reliable pigs whose upgrading would have cost half of the LAV purchase.

    Since the LAVs were originally designed (in their Stryker configuration) to follow high-speed Abram tank assaults with CAS, they have found the going a bit tough in close-quarter engagements in Iraq and the rough Afghanistan terrain (in fact the NZDF refused to deploy LAVs to Afghanistan specifically because of the terrain). Although I do not object to a 1 or 2 company-sized purchase as described above, I still believe that given probable future operating scenarios, a mix of wheeled and tracked APCs would provide the best range of choice for the Army. The question remains, as Stuart pointed out, whether the NZDF has the capability to effectively conduct 1-1-1 rotations at any force levels.

  12. Tom Semmens on October 15th, 2009 at 15:47

    Richard: Thanks for that. I have heard and read mixed reviews on the LAVs. My main concerns are that 1) wheeled vehicles are ill-suited for much of the terrain in which NZDF troops operate (regional theaters specifically); 2) they are vulnerable to close-range small arms and RPG fire, which again, is a function of the terrain and probably scenarios indicate that NZDF will deploy in swampy, mountainous, jungle environments; 3) the absence of a quick lift capability (the C-130s can only carry one stripped down LAV approximately 1500 K, so in effect all the LAVs have to be sea-deployed, which presumes a major operational build-up rather than a quick response).

    My two cents worth: Wheeled vehicles have a number of advantages, not the least being a lot cheaper to maintain in the long run and being capable of self-deploying (rather than needing a transporter) over long distance – just ask Jan Molenaar. I suspect the whole of life cost of a LAV might be much less than any comparable tracked vehicle that requires a much more sophisticated infrastructure to support it. Further, I can’t think of ANY tracked vehicles that would have been affordable or available outside the Swedish CV-90 (though you may know more than I of the Bionix vehicle developed in Singapore) when the LAV purchase was being considered.

    The M113 is now obsolete and highly vulnerable to practically any sort of fire. The criticism of the vulnerability of an APC to modern crew served AT weapons is applicable to everything up to and including the M2/3 Bradley – which is really more of a medium tank than an APC. I think that the LAST place the NZDF would have expected to deploy armoured forces would have been Afghanistan. Further, I understand modern wheeled vehicles are capable of traversing about 90% of the terrain a tracked vehicle can. Also, the idea that in a modern, over crowded world most fighting will be high intensity combat that takes place in areas remote from urban development and a good road net is to me a little out of date thinking. Wheeled vehicles have significant advantages over tracked ones in urban areas and where a road net of any kind exists. Finally, surely with five clapped out Hercules, the weight of the LAV and its need to be partially disassembled is purely an academic one?

    But it seems to me the debate about the force posture and equipment cannot ignore the elephant in the room – the inability of our armed forces to attract and retain personnel. If we could afford to buy enough heavy armour for an entire corps it would make no difference if we have trouble keeping one battalion up to strength. We really need to address the man(and girl)power shortage first and foremost before we argue what weapons we give them.

  13. Stuart Mackey on October 15th, 2009 at 22:57

    Stuart: I totally agree with on what you have said. But It needs to be said that the original concept was to equip 1st battalion and a company from 2nd/1st battalion with APCs and QAMR with fire support vehicles {70+24}. Somewhere along the line it was decided that it would be best to entirely equip both battalions with APCs and after it was discovered that non-turreted LAVs were more expensive than turreted LAVs all of them were to be capable of fire support. Also, Deploying an entire Battalion is a significant chanellge for the Army and even in Timor Leste a company in the Battalion came from other nations. Most deployments are aimed to be company strength. {Which I presume is why the Canterbury can accomadate a LAV company and a Log Compnay to support it}

    Oh, I know of how they arrived at the current vehicle fleet,as to the rest (Canterbury; IIRC they wanted a ship that could move a battalion originally, that got dropped rather quickly), is that not a recruitment and retention issue?

  14. Stuart Mackey on October 15th, 2009 at 23:22

    Stuart: I believe a LAV-equipped mechanised battalion was a bit too pretentious given NZDF resources and numbers (for reasons Richard alludes to)

    Or a case of the politicians not being realistic enough with what resources were actually required, or there own political/ideological constraints getting in the way?

    and the 1-1-1 rotation and maintenance scenario you describe (which is also a major reason why the US Army finds itself stretched thin in its deployments and has had to shorten the time spent on returned service leave, leading to morale issues).

    The alternative is you send people over for the duration, however long that may be, with some time off after a few years in theatre, as we tried to do in WW2, but I don’t think that would be good for morale either.
    Fact of the matter is that a lot of wars these days are not ‘popular’ wars and people these days are simply not interested in joining the armed forces, especially when there is no perception of threat to the country and they fail to see why they should go to places like Afghanistan etc. Its kind of tough to fight a war when the forces are voluntary and people don’t want to join (What if they gave a war and nobody came?)

    My view is that defense bureaucrat ambitions overcame more pragmatic assessments of what was feasible, and National bought into the logic.

    Perhaps, but then pragmatic is often subjective. Defence had a directive from government that they were to be able to enter combat and defence gave its professional advice that a battalion group was the minimum required to do that and you need a certain level of equipment to deploy that unit for that task.
    You either rely on professional advice to acheive your goal or you reconsider your goals if you don’t like the answer.

  15. Tom Semmens on October 16th, 2009 at 06:35

    The alternative is you send people over for the duration, however long that may be, with some time off after a few years in theatre, as we tried to do in WW2, but I don’t think that would be good for morale either.

    The key difference between the combat performance of the NZ Division in WW1 – where it was an elite formation to the very end – and WW2 where 2nd NZ Division’s performance fell of sharply after the Desert was in WW1 the NZ Division was always maintained as a well reinforced, full strength, 12 btn formation. When other German, French, and British divisions in 1917-18 were reduced to nine increasingly weak and worn out battalions we kept our strength up.
    There is a lesson in that.

  16. Richard A on October 16th, 2009 at 08:45

    I’m going to have to agree with both Stuart and Tom about the importance of recruitment & retention. Its not just our armed forces that are having trouble with it though. Across the western world it is getting harder to recruit kids especially over the last decade where economic growth and foreign wars has made many more attractive options. Also, I think there has also been quite an effect from globalised consumerism breaking down the drawing power of nationalistic self scarifice. (Kids today!). Its not easy to solve, at least without alot of money to raise wages and improve accomdation. Although, perhaps now we have massive unemploy perhaps the military won’t be seen as such a bad option.

    I’m still not convinced of the long term viablity of upgrading the M113s. I think this approach is a false economy. The M113s are made of Aluminium. In additon to being a very soft, light and flammable metal it also develops stress fractures that seriously undermines its structural intergrity. Sure, they could be upgraded to A3 standard but they would likely only last another 8 years. Non-Aluminium vehicle have a much bigger upgrade potential. Its looking like the M1 & M2/3 are likely to be in service for maybe 50yrs now that FCS has been cancelled. Sure, I guess it would be possible to buy freashly manufactured M113A3s but this would significatly undermine the cost advantage. Especially once through life costs of maintaining tracked vehicles is taken into account.

    Also, I believe te adavantages of the M113 over the LAV are over stated. Yeah, tracked vehicles have better cross country mobility but military wheeled vehicles aren’t exactly the familiy car. Also, they require much less down time between operations {I was told tracks get one hour of operation for every hour of service, whereas wheel get around 7} and wheeled vehicles make much less noise, increasing chances of surprise, epeically in an urban environment.

    The RNZAF has 5 C130s, of which maybe 2 maybe avaible for operations at any given time {more likely just 1}. The ability to transport 2-4 M113s to a local theatre in, say, 12 hrs is nice. but I’m not sure if this is such an important consderation to massively affect the acquistion decision. If that contingency were to come up there is mothing stopping the Australians doing it. I’m in favour of sea transport.

    I’m not convinced of the vulnerablity of the LAV and vehicles like it. I found an account here of a Stryker that had been hit by 115 RPGs!(1) I don’t know the details such as whether thay were RPG7s or more modern tandem warheads but its still pretty impresive. Especially when you compare it to the M113, Which I have seen penetrated by all kinds of things, SAWs, GPMGs and even a 50ib bow! {ok, so it didn’t go all the way through but it went far enough in to have given me the shits!}

    (1) http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/m1126-strykers-in-combat-experiences-lessons-01323/

  17. Tom Semmens on October 16th, 2009 at 12:53

    Anyway, back to the personal problem. I know the defence review is really about what, where and when, but I wonder if they could discuss who? One of the few arguments that held much truck with me in retaining the strike wing was that working on fast jets helped retain staff.

    NZ is a highly de-militarised society nowadays. The armed forces are seen as a apprenticeship scheme, a heavy duty SAR/Civil defence force, an expensive Coastguard and lastly and leastly as an actual shooting, fighting armed forces.

    Yet I was watching the Chinese military parade the other day and I somewhat gloomily predicted to a friend that we be part of a war with China within our lifetime.

    I wonder if things like an university ROTC (Army pays your tuition, course costs and an income in return for 24-30 months service plus reserve committments) would be within the scope of the review?

  18. Pablo on October 16th, 2009 at 19:50

    Thanks All.

    The discussion has been most edifying and I will have to review my position on the LAVs as a result of your informed critiques and rebuttals (Richard’s bow strike story was enough to give me humorous pause, and the Stryker link was quite compelling–although I should note that the LAVs in question had all been up-armoured with the “slat” armour (which the NZ Army does not have) and I still think a mix of tracked and wheeled in most suitable to NZDF requirements). I do agree with the recruitment and retention problems, and in fact wrote a fair bit along these lines in dedicated threads over at Kiwiblog some time ago (Stuart may remember them).

    I am actually of the growing opinion that the NZDF should be completely overhauled to become a naval and air-led force, with a small (1500-2000 troop) Army that does military medicine and engineering, on the one hand, and spec ops on the other. Territorials can supplement as the “grunt” force component (who can also do SAR etc.), but in terms of where NZ is located geo-strategically, I see protection of air and sea lines of communication coupled with focused peacekeeping and spec ops as the best way to get value for dollar. I have not thought this through so am just thinking out loud here, but maintaining an 7000 troop Army without the ability to run the 1-1-1 rotation seems a waste of resources and personnel. Hence I believe that it may be best to have a skilled military labour force doing the missions outlined above. Or not?

  19. SPC on October 16th, 2009 at 21:36

    To clarify something, the Minister is (according to media reports) not considering selling any of the existing LAV’s, but exchanging them for other vehicles (some LAV’s of other types, including specialist vehicles, and possibly also some vehicles not LAV’s).

    In the future it is possible some of this capability will be with an ANZAC unit and the equipment will be kept in Oz and transported via their transport capability rather than our Hercules/sea transport.

  20. Ex Kiwiforces on October 16th, 2009 at 22:08

    Hi,

    There was a paper done by some RNZAC Officers who were tasked by AHQ in the late Nineties on replacing the M113’s and the CVRT’s.
    1) They looked at upgrading the M113 to A3/A4 standard this was ruled rule due, condition of the hulls, plus the experience of Bosnia which was to bite the Army on bum again in East Timor and then they had to find a Fire Support Vehicle.
    2) Making one the RF Battalions into a Heavy Battalion (the other RF Battalion was to be a light battalion) equip with the Warrior Fighting Vehicles based on British Doctrine and having 3 fully equip Cav Sqns in line with the 2 Cav RAAC doctrine based on the LAV 2’s. This would have worked but you would’ve ended up with 2 separate AFV’s which over time would have leaded to higher maintance costs esp. with the Warriors being tracked vehicles along having a 2 separate supply chains.
    3)
    The other option was to one standard of vehicle which led to the Piranha (GM made LAV) and adopt option 2 listed above but the Infantry AFV’s were to have RWS .50cal stations and the Cav ones to provide Fire Support on the same hull and from what my boss (Troop Commander) said at the time there was a 105mm version they were looking but it was on drawing broad. In the end they adopted the LAV III with the 25mm gun to equip both Infantry/ Cav units and support vehicles for Option 2 which was the cheapest option by far.

    But the bull in the china shop was the within NZDF not the Government, the Senior Infantry Officers at AHQ and these clowns are why the Army is now a mess and they brought the other 2 arms of NZDF down with them.

  21. Stuart Mackey on October 17th, 2009 at 09:05

    The key difference between the combat performance of the NZ Division in WW1 – where it was an elite formation to the very end – and WW2 where 2nd NZ Division’s performance fell of sharply after the Desert was in WW1 the NZ Division was always maintained as a well reinforced, full strength, 12 btn formation. When other German, French, and British divisions in 1917-18 were reduced to nine increasingly weak and worn out battalions we kept our strength up.
    There is a lesson in that.

    Absolutely..good pre-war planning and a reasonably realistic appraisal of what the war was going to be like at the ministerial level (long, bloody and costly). The political will to do what must be done was vital.

  22. Stuart Mackey on October 17th, 2009 at 09:15

    But the bull in the china shop was the within NZDF not the Government, the Senior Infantry Officers at AHQ and these clowns are why the Army is now a mess and they brought the other 2 arms of NZDF down with them.

    I heard that second-hand, insinuations of unconstitutional behaviour all round!

  23. Stuart Mackey on October 17th, 2009 at 09:21

    I am actually of the growing opinion that the NZDF should be completely overhauled to become a naval and air-led force, with a small (1500-2000 troop) Army that does military medicine and engineering, on the one hand, and spec ops on the other. Territorials can supplement as the “grunt” force component (who can also do SAR etc.), but in terms of where NZ is located geo-strategically, I see protection of air and sea lines of communication coupled with focused peacekeeping and spec ops as the best way to get value for dollar. I have not thought this through so am just thinking out loud here, but maintaining an 7000 troop Army without the ability to run the 1-1-1 rotation seems a waste of resources and personnel. Hence I believe that it may be best to have a skilled military labour force doing the missions outlined above. Or not?

    An updated version of some of the pre-ww1/WW2 idea’s?
    Of course it could be argued that so long as the USN rules the waves your idea is largely unnecessary and we have a ‘competitive advantage’ with a well resourced, recruited and trained army.

  24. Ex Kiwiforces on October 18th, 2009 at 01:38

    Stuart,

    My Uncle in RNZAF once said the Airforce and the Navy always worked well together at all levels but when it came to work with the Army it was the Army way or the highway most of the time. Even my short time in the RNZAC in 90’s us Tankies and Gunners could work together along with everyone else but when it came to dealing with the Infantry mainly their Officers it was like you were talking to a brick wall sometimes and since then I have very little time for the Infantry now.

  25. Ex Kiwiforces on October 18th, 2009 at 01:42

    My Force structure for the Army would be no change to the Force Troops at the moment, but for the Field Force a major shake up with 4 Battalions groups. The RF units based in Linton Camp will become a light Battalion group with a Cav Sqn and supporting arms; The Burnham Battalion Group will be re-role as a heavy Battalion group with a Cav Sqn along with supporting arms. The TF units in the Nth Island will provide one light Battalion group with a Cav Sqn with supporting arms and the Sth Island with a providing a Battalion group, with a Cav Sqn and support and arms at half strength. Coming from the mainland the TF always seem to struggled to get the numbers during the 90’s

    The TF will adopt 3 tier System; Band 1 members must do a 18mths full time service minimum of 120 days to a max of 180 days or more if their CO signs off on it. The only catch is that they sign up for 4yrs service and if they leave before their 4yrs is they must repaid their medical and subsidy back. Band 2 TF as per the current system and Band 3 TF are for Lawyers, Medical Staff etc. All TF pay expect for Fulltime service pay is Tax Free, Those that are on band 1 will extra benefits for example medical dental subsidy to maintain there IR when not full time service and a education subsidy for those attending university and polytec.
    The 3 tier Res Scheme is used over in OZ to very good effect esp. for those on band 1 and even Band 2 have been able to deploy operations in Combat and non Combat roles. The RAAF Airfield Defence Guards deploy a Rifle Group plus to East Timor to support the PAF Sqn in Dili and have been doing it ever since the Middle East campaign started. The Army has deployed their Band 1 Res SF troops and Cav crewman and Medical Staff to the Middle East.

    The Army must support the Army Cadets alot better esp. those cadets in their final yr at school, as this could be a source of manpower for both RF and TF. One other option is the Commonwealth Nations in the Pacific as well for manpower.

  26. Ex Kiwiforces on October 18th, 2009 at 02:04

    Pablo

    The NZLAV3 is fitted with Applipue armour to the hull and turret

  27. Pablo on October 18th, 2009 at 17:46

    Again, I much appreciate the informed discussion and education on certain technical issues as well as the “larger picture.” What I would simply note with regard to the latter, something that I have stated in several forums, is that there is a logical syllogism that ideally should define a nation’s military posture and commitments:

    geostrategic position–>threat environment–>geopolitical orientation–>mission definition–>force composition–>weapons acquisition and personnel training–>force deployment.

    Needless to say this does not include the element of political will and other factors that determine the national security perspective, but it should serve as the basis for how military service and defense issues are framed–which is why all informed views need to be included in the Defense Review.

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