Future force

Restructuring the NZDF - an immodest proposal

The objective of this section is to examine options for a future force derived from the existing one which can meet a wider range of hazards more cost-effectively.

Strategic Goals

New Zealand's strategic contribution to world security is its ability to operate in low intensity conflict situations by matching forces to the necessary levels of violence. Such environments are not purely military, they are political with recourse to violence. The object of the military is to suppress violence in favour of dialogue.
In all cases the ability of New Zealand forces to win civilian hearts and minds through disciplined and appropriate responses is crucial to operational security. It is impossible to fight an entire population as the US has discovered on numerous occasions (Vietnam, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan).
From a geopolitical point of view New Zealand's main duty is to help our Pacific neighbours remain stable, and economically viable. Oceania is the only world region which is not progressing economically and this is a security problem as it opens the door for potential dependency on powers prejudicial to New Zealand's own security.
The strategic goals of the NZDF are therefore to be able to flexibly respond to violent and emergency situations while meeting all political objectives.

Structure

The NZDF is currently structured around three services: Army, Navy and Airforce. It is questionable whether this British traditional structure is appropriate given our tiny size.
 
For a start inter-service rivalry for funding pet projects (frigates, helicopters and LAVs) has led to some very expensive acquisitions which could have been handled far better. The entire New Zealand defence force could be just as easily managed by a single organisation akin to the United States Marine Corps which incorporates elements of Army, Navy and Airforce. This would certainly improve Service integration so that we don't end up with combat vehicles which are hard to transport, a lack of sea transporters, and helicopters which don't work particularly well with non-airforce elements. A single force would present an opportunity to reorganise ranking structures, pay-scales and incentives, turning three hidebound and inflexible businesses into a single more agile one.
Currently the forces consist of
 
Intelligence 
  • GCSB
  • SIS
  • New Zealand Intelligence Corps
Navy
  • Naval Combat Force
    • Te Mana ( Meko 200 class frigate)
    • Te Kaha ( Meko 200 class frigate)
  • Naval Patrol Force
    • 2 OPVS (HMNZS Wellington & Otago)
    • 4 Inshore Patrol Vessels
  • Naval Logistics Support Force
    • HMNZS Canterbury
    • HMNZS Endaevour
  • Naval Diving Support
  • Naval Aviation (Helicopters)
Army
  • Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
  • New Zealand Special Air Service
  • Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps
  • Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery
  • Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers
  • Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals
  • Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment
  • Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps
  • Royal New Zealand Army Nursing Corps
  • Royal New Zealand Army Dental Corps
  • Corps of Royal New Zealand Military Police
  • Joint Services Fire Training School
  • New Zealand Army Band
  • Army Reserve
  • Cadet Corps
Airforce
  • No. 3 Squadron RNZAF — UH-1 Iroquois RNZAF Base Ohakea
  • No. 5 Squadron RNZAF — P-3 Orion RNZAF Base Auckland
  • No. 6 Squadron RNZAF — SH-2 Seasprite RNZAF Base Auckland
  • No. 40 Squadron RNZAF — C-130 Hercules/Boeing 757 RNZAF Base Auckland
  • No. 42 Squadron RNZAF — Beech Kingair B200 RNZAF Base Ohakea
  • Pilot Training Squadron RNZAF — CT-4E Airtrainer RNZAF Base Ohakea
  • Central Flying School RNZAF — CT-4E Airtrainer RNZAF Base Ohakea
  •  No. 488 Wing RNZAF
  • Aeronautical Standards and Safety Office — RNZAF Base Auckland
  • Aviation Medicine Unit — RNZAF Base Auckland
  • Air Power Development Centre (APDC) — RNZAF Base Ohakea
  • Aircraft Repair Depot — RNZAF Base Woodbourne
  • RNZAF Parachute Training and Support Unit — RNZAF Base Auckland
  • RNZAF No. 209 (Expeditionary Support) Squadron — RNZAF Base Auckland and RNZAF Base Ohakea
  • RNZAF Survival Training Centre — RNZAF Base Auckland
  • Command and Recruit Training Squadron — RNZAF Base Woodbourne
  • Helicopter Transition Unit — RNZAF Base Ohakea
  • Ground Training Wing — RNZAF Base Woodbourne
  • RNZAF Force Protection— Military Working Dog Training School RNZAF Base Auckland

An Integrated Arms: NZDF 

A single organisation could also better deal with the fact that in the 21st Century where semi-civilian terrorist movements tend to operate clandestinely that a militant organisation could re-scale its operations to deal with the kind of high-precision, up-close and personal engagements which tend to dominate at this time. It would in effect become a kind of super-charged Police force for dealing with challenges beyond the jurisdiction, capability or scope of New Zealand Police. This is not in any way to suggest a change to the Act, merely a new model for re-defining the capability and structures retained within the defence force.

The logical structure for such as a force would split the operation of equipment which transmits the force and its logistics to the operational area from that which carries out carries out operations within a radius of action.

1. Strategic Operations Force : operating ships or aircraft some considerable distance from New Zealand.
This would inherit and reorganise
  • The Naval Combat Force
  • Naval Logistics Support Force
    • HMNZS Canterbury
    • HMNZS Endaevour
  • No. 6 Squadron RNZAF — SH-2 Seasprite RNZAF Base Auckland
  • No. 5 Squadron RNZAF — P-3 Orion RNZAF Base Auckland
  • No. 40 Squadron RNZAF — C-130 Hercules/Boeing 757 RNZAF Base Auckland
  • Navy Reserve
Capital for this arm is focused on force projection from New Zealand out into the world.  Its objective is to be able to respond to risks beyond New Zealand.
Specifically:
 
Hazard Operational PurposeCurrent Assets
Volcano
To provide assistance in the event of volcanic eruption in the Pacific.
  • Assist with evacuation
  • Assist with supply, provision of water
  • Assist with provision of heavy machinery
  • Assist with medical treatment
  • Carry operational units

Passenger, vehicle, helicopter transport
(e.g HMNZS Canterbury)
(e.g No. 40 Squadron C-130H / B757)

Shipment of fuel and supplies
(e.g HMNZS Endaevour)

Aerial evacuation
(e.g No.6 squadron)

Aerial reconaissance
( e.g No. 5 Squadron P-3K Orions)

Earthquake
Christchurch 2011 (Wikipedia)
 
To provide assistance in the event of earthquake damage in the Pacific.
  • Assist with re-construction
  • Assist with supply, provision of water
  • Assist with provision of heavy machinery
  • Assist with medical treatment
  • Assist with damage assessment
  • Carry operational units

Passenger, vehicle, helicopter transport
(e.g HMNZS Canterbury)
(e.g No. 40 Squadron C-130H / B757)

Shipment of fuel and supplies
(e.g HMNZS Endaevour)

Heavy crane for reconstruction of docks

Aerial search and rescue
(e.g No.6 squadron)

Aerial reconaissance and resupply
( e.g No. 5 Squadron P-3K Orions)

Tsunami
2010 Tsunami, Japan
 
To provide assistance in the event of Tsunami damage in the Pacific.
  • Assist with re-construction
  • Remap habours and approaches
  • Assist with supply, provision of water
  • Assist with provision of heavy machinery
  • Assist with medical treatment
  • Carry operational units

Passenger, vehicle, helicopter transport
(e.g HMNZS Canterbury)
(e.g No. 40 Squadron C-130H / B757)

Research ship

Shipment of fuel and supplies
(e.g HMNZS Endaevour)

Heavy crane for reconstruction of docks

Aerial search and rescue
(e.g No.6 squadron)

Aerial reconaissance and resupply
( eg No. 5 Squadron P-3K Orions)

Cyclone/Flood
TEV Wahine before sinking
To provide assistance in the event of Hurricane damage in the Pacific.
  • Assist with re-construction
  • Assist with supply, provision of water
  • Assist with provision of heavy machinery
  • Assist with medical treatment
  • Carry operational units

Passenger, vehicle, helicopter transport (e.g HMNZS Canterbury)

Shipment of fuel and supplies
(e.g HMNZS Endaevour)

Heavy crane for reconstruction of docks

Aerial search and rescue
(e.g No.6 squadron)

Aerial reconaissance and resupply
( eg No. 5 Squadron P-3K Orions)
(e.g No. 40 Squadron C-130H)

Pandemic
US Flu hospital (Wikipedia)
To provide assistance in the event of Pandemic in the Pacific
  • Assist with treatment
  • Assistance with evacuation
  • Assistance with quarantine enforcement
  • Carry operational units
 

Passenger, vehicle, helicopter transport (e.g HMNZS Canterbury)

Aerial transport
(e.g No.6 squadron)
(e.g No. 40 Squadron C-130H/ B757)

Chemical/oil spill
Rena clean-up (Maritime New Zealand)
To provide clean-up assistance in remote locations (e.g the Antarctic or Pacific territories)
  • Evaluation of contamination
  • Assist with treatment
  • Carry operational units
 

Operational logistics assistance
(e.g HMNZS Endaevour)

Heavy crane for unloading stricken vessels

Spill containment and tankage

Dispersant

 

Uncontrolled/Unsustainable fishing
Orange Roughy in nets
To provide assistance to Pacific nations with policing their fisheries
  • Long range operations support
  • Aerial Reconnaisance and enforcement
  • Boarding and inspection

Operational patrol vessels  with helicopters, launches etc.
(e.g OPVs, frigates, etc)

Research ship

Shipment of fuel and supplies
(e.g HMNZS Endaevour)

Aerial reconaissance
( eg No. 5 Squadron P-3K Orions)

Aerial interception
(e.g No.6 squadron)

 Maritime Search and Rescue
 To provide Search and Rescue in the South Pacific Aerial reconaissance
( eg No. 5 Squadron P-3K Orions)
Piracy
Indonesian pirates
To assist international efforts to arrest pirates and piracy
  • Long range operations support
  • Aerial Reconnaisance and enforcement
  • Boarding and detention

Operational patrol  vessels with helicopters, launches etc
(e.g OPVs, frigates, etc)

Shipment of fuel and supplies
(e.g HMNZS Endaevour)

Aerial interception
(e.g No.6 squadron)

State failure
Honiara, Solomon Island (source BBC)

To provide assistance for the re-establishment of governance

  • Assist with evacuation
  • Carry and support operational units
  • Carry supply, provision of water
  • Assist with provision of heavy machinery
  • Assist with medical treatment

Passenger, vehicle, helicopter transport
(e.g HMNZS Canterbury)
(e.g No. 40 Squadron C-130H / B757)

Shipment of fuel and supplies
(e.g HMNZS Endaevour)

Aerial enforcement
(e.g No.6 squadron)

Aerial reconaissance and resupply
( e.g No. 5 Squadron P-3K Orions)

Low intensity proxy wars
RNZAF Iroquois in Timor-Leste

To provide assistance for the maintenance of governance

  • Assist with evacuation
  • Carry and support operational units
  • Carry supply, provision of water
  • Assist with provision of heavy machinery
  • Assist with medical treatment

 Passenger, vehicle, helicopter transport
(e.g HMNZS Canterbury)
(e.g No. 40 Squadron C-130H / B757)

Shipment of fuel and supplies
(e.g HMNZS Endaevour)

Aerial enforcement
(e.g No.6 squadron)

Aerial reconaissance and resupply
( e.g No. 5 Squadron P-3K Orions)

Occupation/Guerilla Wars
NZ soldiers perform haka in Bamiyan, Afghanistan
Provide assistance to allies as required
  • Carry and support operational units
  • Provide logistic assistance to allies as required

Passenger, vehicle, helicopter transport
(e.g HMNZS Canterbury)
(e.g No. 40 Squadron C-130H / B757)

Shipment of fuel and supplies
(e.g HMNZS Endaevour)

High intensity war
The Battle of Coral Sea 1942
To engage or support the engagement and destruction of enemy military assets
  • Provide intelligence and reconnaisance
  • Carry, support and protect operational units
  • Provide logistic assistance to allies as required
  • Engage and destroy enemy assets

Deploy assets with high survivability and lethality

Escort vessels
(e.g frigates, OPVs)

Passenger, vehicle, helicopter transport
(e.g HMNZS Canterbury)
(e.g No. 40 Squadron C-130H / B757)

Shipment of fuel and supplies
(e.g HMNZS Endaevour)

Aerial engagement
(e.g No.6 squadron)
( e.g No. 5 Squadron P-3K Orions)

Submarine Sneak Attack
HMS Conqueror flies the Jolly Roger having sunk ARA Belgrano
 To find deter or destroy enemy submarine attack
  • Detect and track submarines
  • Deter or prevent submarine attack
  • Sink submarines

Deploy assets with high survivability and lethality

Detection systems for submarines
(e.g frigates and P3-K)

Aerial engagement
(e.g No.6 squadron)
( e.g No. 5 Squadron P-3K Orions)

Antarctic Responsibility
The tanker Lawrence H. Gianella sits alongside the ice pier at McMurdo Station in Antarctica.
(National Science Foundation)
Credit and Larger Version
To assist with environmental protection of Antarctic
  • Minimise impact of operations
  • Carry operational units
  • Remediate spills or leakage
  • Carry out SAR as required
  • Fisheries protection

Shipment of fuel and supplies
(e.g HMNZS Endaevour)

Passenger, vehicle, helicopter transport
(e.g HMNZS Canterbury)
(e.g No. 40 Squadron C-130H / B757)

Research ship

Operational patrol vessels with helicopters, launches etc
(e.g OPVs, frigates, etc)

Aerial reconaissance and SAR
(e.g No.6 squadron)
( e.g No. 5 Squadron P-3K Orions)

Heavy crane for unloading stricken vessels

Spill containment and tankage

Dispersant


 2. A Tactical Operations Force : operating vehicles, ships, aircraft and equipment around a locus of strategic operations
This would inherit and reorganise
  • Naval Patrol Force
    • 2 OPVS (HMNZS Wellington & Otago)
    • 4 Inshore Patrol Vessels
  • No. 3 Squadron RNZAF — NH-90s RNZAF Base Ohakea
  • No. 42 Squadron RNZAF — Beech Kingair B200 RNZAF Base Ohakea
  • Pilot Training Squadron RNZAF — CT-4E Airtrainer RNZAF Base Ohakea
  • Central Flying School RNZAF — CT-4E Airtrainer RNZAF Base Ohakea
  • Naval Diving Support
  • New Zealand Special Air Service
  • Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps
  • Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
  • Corps of Royal New Zealand Military Police
  • Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps
  • Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery
  • Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers
  • Army Reserve
  • RNZAF No. 209 (Expeditionary Support) Squadron — RNZAF Base Auckland and RNZAF Base Ohakea
  • Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment
  • Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps
  • Royal New Zealand Army Nursing Corps
  • Royal New Zealand Army Dental Corps
  • Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers
  • Joint Services Fire Training School
Hazard Operational Purpose Desired Operational Assets
Volcano
 To
  • Operational reconnaisance and C4i structures
  • Assist and enforce evacuation instructions
  • Assist civilian efforts to restore bridges and supply corridors
  • Provide SAR assistance and medical evacuation
  • Assist civilian medical and mortuary operations
  • Provide emergency power and water for key assets
  • Assist Police with emergency controls
  • Provide logistical support to emergency services as required

Military Police

Medical and mortuary units

Engineering units

Operational helicopters

SAR support

UAV monitoring

 

 

Earthquake
Christchurch 2011 (Wikipedia)
 To
  • Operational reconnaisance and C4i structures
  • Assist and enforce evacuation instructions
  • Assist civilian efforts to restore bridges and supply corridors
  • Provide SAR assistance and medical evacuation
  • Assist civilian medical and mortuary operations
  • Provide emergency power and water for key assets
  • Assist Police with emergency controls
  • Provide logistical support to emergency services as required
 

Military Police

Medical and mortuary units

Engineering units

Operational helicopters

SAR support

UAV monitoring

Tsunami
2010 Tsunami, Japan
 To
  • Operational reconnaisance and C4i structures
  • Remap habours and approaches
  • Assist civilian efforts to restore bridges and supply corridors
  • Provide SAR assistance and medical evacuation
  • Assist civilian medical and mortuary operations
  • Provide emergency power and water for key assets
  • Assist Police with emergency controls
  • Provide logistical support to emergency services as required

Military Police

Medical and mortuary units

Engineering units

Operational helicopters

SAR support

UAV monitoring

Cyclone/Flood

TEV Wahine before sinking
 To
  • Operational reconnaisance and C4i structures
  • Assist civilian efforts to restore bridges and supply corridors
  • Sandbagging
  • Provide SAR assistance and medical evacuation
  • Assist civilian medical and mortuary operations
  • Provide emergency power and water for key assets
  • Assist Police with emergency controls
  • Provide logistical support to emergency services as required

Military Police

Medical and mortuary units

Engineering units

Amphibious supply

Operational helicopters

SAR support

UAV monitoring

Pandemic
US Flu hospital (Wikipedia)
 To
  • Provide SAR assistance and medical evacuation
  • Assist civilian medical and mortuary operations
  • Provide emergency power and water for key assets
  • Assist Police with emergency controls
  • Provide logistical support to emergency services as required

Military Police

Medical and mortuary units

Engineering units

Operational helicopters

Agricultural epidemic
2001 Foot and Mouth Outbreak (The Guardian)
 To
  • Assist Police with emergency controls
  • Provide logistical support to emergency services as required
  • Destroy and dispose of stricken animals

Military Police

Medical and mortuary units

Engineering units

Operational helicopters

Chemical fire/gas

To
  • Provide SAR assistance and medical evacuation
  • Assist civilian medical and mortuary operations
  • Provide emergency decontamination
  • Assist Police with emergency controls
  • Provide logistical support to emergency services as required
 

NBC proof vehicles

Military Police

Medical and mortuary units

Engineering units

Operational helicopters

Chemical/oil spill
Rena clean-up (Maritime New Zealand)
 To
  • Provide emergency decontamination
  • Assist Police with emergency controls
  • Provide logistical support to emergency services as required
Military Police

Labour

Engineering units

Operational helicopters

Uncontrolled/Unsustainable fishing
Orange Roughy in nets
 To
  • Assist civilian authorities with specialist observation equipment
  • Assist civilian authorities with boarding and access
  • Assist Police as required
 UAVs

Launches

Operational helicopters

Marine troops
Piracy
Indonesian pirates
 To
  • Reconnoitre pirate land bases
  • Engage and arrest pirates

UAVs

Launches

Operational helicopters

Marine troops
Maritime Search and Rescue
 To
  • Carry out SAR

 UAVs

Launches

Operational helicopters

Marine troops
Terrorism
Provisional IRA
 To assist Police to
  • Locate and contain terrorists
  • Subdue and arrest terrorists 
  • disarm explosive devices
  • contain NBC threats
SAS

Operational armoured vehicles

Operational helicopters

Engineering units

Divers
State Sabotage/Mining
Rainbow Warrior, Auckland Harbour (Greenpeace)
  To assist Police to
  • Locate and contain saboteurs
  • Subdue and arrest saboteurs
  • disarm explosive devices
  • contain NBC threats
SAS

Operational armoured vehicles

Operational helicopters

Engineering units

Divers
State failure
Honiara, Solomon Island (source BBC)
To provide stabilising force and training for local Police
  • Identify and neutralise tension sources
  • Maintain 'firm and fair' policing
  • Respond to violent outbreaks
  • Trace provocateurs
  • Provide anti-looting and sentry cover
  • Train local police
  • Evacuate and treat wounded
SAS

Military Police

Operational armoured and non armoured vehicles/boats

anti riot vehicles

Operational helicopters

Engineering Units
Low intensity proxy wars
RNZAF Iroquois in Timor-Leste
 To provide stabilising force and training for local Police
  • Identify and neutralise tension sources
  • Maintain 'firm and fair' policing
  • Respond to attacks
  • Respond to riots
  • Trace infiltration
  • Provide anti-looting and sentry cover
  • Train local police
  • Evacuate and treat wounded
 SAS

Military Police

Operational armoured and non armoured vehicles/boats

anti riot vehicles

Operational helicopters

Engineering Units

Medical and mortuary units
Occupation/Guerilla Wars
NZ soldiers perform haka in Bamiyan, Afghanistan
To assist allies as able
  • Special forces operations
  • Military police 
  • Logistics supplies
  • Construction
  • Medical and mortuary support
SAS

Military Police

Engineering units

Medical and mortuary units
High intensity war
The Battle of Coral Sea 1942
 To assist allies as able and defend NZ territory

  • Disrupt enemy logistics
  • Seize and hold strategic territorial assets
  • Counter and disrupt enemy attacks
  • Carry out offensive disruption operations
  • Destroy or insert bridges or similar operational assets
  • Evacuate and treat wounded
SAS

Operational helicopters

Operational armoured and non armoured vehicles/boats

Motorised infantry

Engineering units

Medical and mortuary units
Antarctic Responsibility
The tanker Lawrence H. Gianella sits alongside the ice pier at McMurdo Station in Antarctica.
(National Science Foundation)
Credit and Larger Version
 To assist civilian scientific operations

  • Provide SAR
  • Assist with decontamination
  • Assist with construction
Engineering Units

Operational helicopters

 
3. Intelligence: Guiding and directing the deployment of the others.
 
4. Ceremonial and Veterans Affairs
  • New Zealand Airforce band
  • New Zealand Army Band
  • New Zealand Navy Band

Deletions and changes

The structure would however require some adjustment with the acquisition of some new capabilities and the discontinuation of others. Three elements in particular would be terminated or greatly transformed. These are:
  • Naval Combat Force
    • Te Mana ( Meko 200 class frigate)
    • Te Kaha ( Meko 200 class frigate)
  • Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps
  • Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
  • Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery
This is simply because these structures are not the most cost-effective response to an all-risks defence force. Specifically:
 
1. The Meko 200 class frigate is a fleet sentry ship designed for anti-submarine warfare. It isn't fast enough to cope with swarms of cheap, fast attack missile ships in shallow archipelagos, it isn't stealthy, and  it doesn't carry any useful cargo like modern multifunction ships like HMDS Absalon. It is far too expensive to act as an Environment Protection Vessel like KV Svalbard. The design is simply an old fashioned relic of cold-war thinking. The services would attempt to sell the frigates while operating them

2. The Armoured Corps has inherited the LAV III which is enormous and therefore extremely expensive to deploy. The huge number of vehicles in our arsenal is disproportionate to any likely demand. We would be better off with smaller numbers of more specific vehicles for specific tasks. We should be able to deploy our own vehicles to the rest of the world rather than borrow other people's Humvees and Landcruisers. The LAVs would be sold off in tranches of around 24.

3. While there is nothing wrong with New Zealand infantry but a regiment is not the best formation. Most militaries have been reorganised into brigade forces. We have 12,000 Steyr AUG rifles because someone thought we might conceivably field a division. Since WW2 we have never fielded more than 1,000 personnel (including Navy and Airforce). In a period of asymmetric warfare New Zealand soldiers going into harms way should be equipped like the best equipped private operations, not like national cannon-fodder. They should have access to the best equipment money can buy because if we are only going to field 1,000 we can afford it. The regiment would be restructured, and a brigade is proposed here.

4. Artillery has changed a lot from Korea and Vietnam. Our 105mm Hamel guns are 1980s relics which are completely out-classed by modern artillery rockets, mortars and guns. Artillery under many rules of engagement is problematic as well.  Increasingly drones provide more certain targeting at longer ranges and organic artillery (such as larger mortars with precision guided munitions) make more sense for shorter ranges. This is not to say that the skills of gunnery and artillery are no longer required but that they must be updated and integrated into deployed force structures. The 105mm Hamels would be retired to ceremonial roles.