The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, and the Chief of the Defence Force Designate, Lieutenant General David Hurley, met with New Zealand Chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, in Canberra today to sign a Joint Statement on the ANZAC Ready Response Force (RRF).

The Joint Statement between the ADF and NZDF on the ANZAC RRF formalises an initiative of the Australian and New Zealand governments to leverage our close relationship to plan and exercise for joint emergency responses in the region.

“Disasters such as the 2009 Pacific Tsunami and the recent series of earthquakes across the region highlight the need for well planned and executed humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

“The ADF and NZDF are working together to develop and exercise plans under the RRF for a common response to these types of regional contingencies, and the first exercise with an RRF element will be held later this year.”

An essential component of the agreement has been for NZDF personnel to embed with ADF planning staff in the ADF Deployable Joint Force Headquarters in Brisbane to enable a collaborative approach to planning. This first occurred in March this year.

Both countries’ National Operational Headquarters will coordinate operational aspects of the ANZAC RRF and the Commander and force structure will be mutually determined for each mission.

The decision to activate the ANZAC RRF will be coordinated through our respective national whole-of-government emergency response frameworks.

The signing of the Joint Statement between the ANZAC Defence Force Chiefs comes as the Australian Royal Military College holds its centennial celebrations. New Zealand officer cadets have attended RMC since its inception.

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