Pacific Command is the structure charged with providing both Pacific and Fisheries Security. Fisheries security has been allocated 20% of the total capital budget while the Pacific is entitled to 25%. Altogether the total capital allocation is $2 billion.
As noted previously the fundamental geographical reality about the Pacific is that it is vast. New Zealand's Exclusive economic zone is at 4 million square kilometres the fourth largest in the world. If we were to plot the area we need to patrol and assist in two dimensions and add a third dimension to represent capital concentration we could represent a kind of capital topography for the various systems we might consider employing to work in the Pacific. For instance the MEKO Anzac class frigates would have a very steep capital topography because they are very expensive but have a very limited operational coverage area. By contrast the Orions cover a much larger area and have a relatively lighter capital footprint.
This capital topography is the very essence of any organisation charged with this mission. Ultimately there is only so much an organisation can do sitting in a headquarters in Wellington. Capability comes from ships and aircraft. Once one determines what sorts of ships and aircraft then one can ask questions about logistics and training but until the capital structure is set these services must remain moot.
This Study is copyright Peter King