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New Zealand Army Organisation

This is a discussion on New Zealand Army Organisation within the Army & Security Forces forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Hi Guys, before Christmas I saw a media report that suggested that the NZ army had conducted a review of ...


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Old February 14th, 2006   #1
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New Zealand Army Organisation

Hi Guys, before Christmas I saw a media report that suggested that the NZ army had conducted a review of how it was going to organise its battalions. This review was a result of manpower shortages and new equipment. This review was finished the same time as the Defence Sustainability Initiative released in May 2005, but has not been released.

I have seen nothing since, but I know the Australian army is looking at changing its Squad/Platoon organisation to introduce heavy weapons into a Platoon, the Royal Marines have done something similar, and am wondering if it is connected with this. Or (more likely) it is looking at how to organise the battalion around a smaller number of personnel.

Appreciate any info that anyone may have.

Last edited by Whiskyjack; February 14th, 2006 at 05:19 PM.
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Old February 15th, 2006   #2
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Hi Guys, before Christmas I saw a media report that suggested that the NZ army had conducted a review of how it was going to organise its battalions. This review was a result of manpower shortages and new equipment. This review was finished the same time as the Defence Sustainability Initiative released in May 2005, but has not been released.

I have seen nothing since, but I know the Australian army is looking at changing its Squad/Platoon organisation to introduce heavy weapons into a Platoon, the Royal Marines have done something similar, and am wondering if it is connected with this. Or (more likely) it is looking at how to organise the battalion around a smaller number of personnel.

Appreciate any info that anyone may have.
For the Australian Army I think the re-org is being conducted for several reasons. 1. The existing structure of 3x platoons per coy and 4x rifle companies per battalion has essentially existed since before WW1. The Army thinks this format is a bit inflexible and is therefore conducting a trial, starting this year based on 6 Battalion Royal Australian Regiment, to trial the new structure along with additional weapons etc.

The Australian Army is finding it difficult to man 4x rifle coy's, plus support coy's and Battalion HQ's in each of it's battalions.

The new structure is therefore to include 3x rifle coy's and 3x platoon's per coy, but with platoon strength enhanced, though the addition of Maneurvre support (MS) teams per platoon. These will operate heavy weapons including 40mm Auto grenade launchers, 0.50cal HMG's, Carl Gustav 84mm anti-armour weapons, a "new" semi-automatic 7.62mm sniper rifle and 7.62mm MAG-58 GPMG's.

These weapons will be operated by the MS teams and used as required, depending on the tactical circumstances. Each MS team will be given additional vehicles for greater transport capability, due to the heavy weapons requirement (ie: quads, "supacats" etc).

The MS teams will also be used where, required to form MS platoon's comprising, basically an entire heavy weapons platoons to allow firepower to be concentrated on a target.

The remaining support capability, will supposedly remain the same, though perhaps with the existing direct fire support weapons platoon, reverting to an anti-armour platoon, equipped as it will be, with Javelin anti-armour weapons.
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Old February 15th, 2006   #3
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NZ Army Restructure

I haven't heard anything other than the Queen Alexandra Mounted Rifles relocating to Burnham Military Camp, where they have been designated as a Regiment rather than a Squadron, using LAV. The army documents I've seen are talking of QAMR as it's 3rd Manoeuvre Force.

I would not be surprised to find the army moving to a regular force brigade structure.
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Old February 16th, 2006   #4
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I haven't heard anything other than the Queen Alexandra Mounted Rifles relocating to Burnham Military Camp, where they have been designated as a Regiment rather than a Squadron, using LAV. The army documents I've seen are talking of QAMR as it's 3rd Manoeuvre Force.

I would not be surprised to find the army moving to a regular force brigade structure.
NZ doesn't seem to have made up it's mind entirely WHO will get LAV's. 1 RNZIR is equipped with 52 LAV's, 2 RNZIR is equipped with 40 and the rest equipping your trade schools. Where are QAMR's LAV's coming from? You've only got 105.

The only thing they can be thinking is to re-designate 1 or 2 RNZIR as a light infantry force and for the LAV's to go to QAMR. Perhaps the acquisition of NH-90's is influencing this decision and NZ will gain a battalion lift capacity with the new choppers?

Whatever happens, it's going to be a pretty un-balanced "brigade", thought the whole acquisition seems strange to me. Surely it would be best practice to decide what you want to use your defence acquisitions FOR and how they'll be structured and who'll operate them before you buy them, but that's not the case in NZ...
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Old February 16th, 2006   #5
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2 Rnzir

My understanding is that 2 RNZIR is to remain a light infantry force, with QAMR providing the LAV's on an as required basis. I wouldn't say any brigade would be unbalanced given that the Royal Marines only have 100 or so BV206. New Zealand has most of the elements for a regular brigade they just need to brought together under one command. The only real area NZ is short in is infantry and artillery.
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Old February 16th, 2006   #6
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My understanding is that 2 RNZIR is to remain a light infantry force, with QAMR providing the LAV's on an as required basis. I wouldn't say any brigade would be unbalanced given that the Royal Marines only have 100 or so BV206. New Zealand has most of the elements for a regular brigade they just need to brought together under one command. The only real area NZ is short in is infantry and artillery.
I like the mention of Royal Marines there, I would like to see something similar in the NZ Army. What I would really like to see is a mix of the 105 LAVs with 20-30 EFVs, to provide the manoeuvre and flexibility that I think the NZ Army needs. It is heavy but in the South Pacific/South East Asian Region it would be of great use.

When the force you can generate is small it must be more flexible, which I believe the NZDF has been over the years. As long as it can still operate along side its allies there is nothing wrong with being a bit different.

What ever the case it would seem that there is some thinking taking place on how to effectively use the army with the resources at hand.
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Old February 24th, 2006   #7
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The only thing they can be thinking is to re-designate 1 or 2 RNZIR as a light infantry force and for the LAV's to go to QAMR.
That is exactly what has happned with 2 RNZIR being the light Btn. There was talk, iirc, of disbanding QAMR alltogether, given that all they are there for is to act as taxi drivers for the infantry, and letting 2 RNZIR have the LAV's. I think that internal army politics stopped that.

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Perhaps the acquisition of NH-90's is influencing this decision and NZ will gain a battalion lift capacity with the new choppers?
The final numbers is in the hands of cabinet {read Finance ministry}, but I think they will operate as the Hueys did.

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Whatever happens, it's going to be a pretty un-balanced "brigade", thought the whole acquisition seems strange to me. Surely it would be best practice to decide what you want to use your defence acquisitions FOR and how they'll be structured and who'll operate them before you buy them, but that's not the case in NZ...
NZ army operates essentially as seperate units within a brigade structure, there is no intention from army or Government that they will ever operate as a brigade. I think that is a mistake if we expect to do Timor like operation where we have to operate in a brigade.
Moreover an actual brigade formation is not policy.
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Old February 24th, 2006   #8
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NZ army operates essentially as seperate units within a brigade structure, there is no intention from army or Government that they will ever operate as a brigade. I think that is a mistake if we expect to do Timor like operation where we have to operate in a brigade.
Moreover an actual brigade formation is not policy.
Yes a standing brigade structure is not policy but the army is expected to be able deploy a brigade if things turn to custard in a big way. I would the that the current policy is a flawed, for two key reasons.

1/ It fails to allow the army to exercise at the brigade level except on paper.

2/ The NZ army is of a size where it could develop a regular force brigade. As evidence of this the Stryker Brigade has a authorised stregth of 3614 (I think that has increased now). The new US Army Unit of Action Brigade structure as a strength of 2992. Failure to maximise the orgainisational structure into an operational force is a waste of resources (especially when you have them).

As a guide each battalion will have 812 people, including an ISTAR Coy, Logistics Co, 3 Infantry Companies, 1 Combat Support Companies. The structure seems at odds with whats going on overseas (Commando's, Stryker Brigade).
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Old February 24th, 2006   #9
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Yes a standing brigade structure is not policy but the army is expected to be able deploy a brigade if things turn to custard in a big way.
Oh? there is no mention of this in current policy. There is an expectation to deploy a battalion group {a paper requirement, I think, as I doubt that even a Btn is doable at the moment}

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I would the that the current policy is a flawed, for two key reasons.

1/ It fails to allow the army to exercise at the brigade level except on paper.
No, the policy is that army operates within a brigade structure not as a feild formation.

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2/ The NZ army is of a size where it could develop a regular force brigade. As evidence of this the Stryker Brigade has a authorised stregth of 3614 (I think that has increased now). The new US Army Unit of Action Brigade structure as a strength of 2992. Failure to maximise the orgainisational structure into an operational force is a waste of resources (especially when you have them).

As a guide each battalion will have 812 people, including an ISTAR Coy, Logistics Co, 3 Infantry Companies, 1 Combat Support Companies. The structure seems at odds with whats going on overseas (Commando's, Stryker Brigade).
Oh, we could have a brigade formation if we wanted to, probably a binary brigade initialy. The trouble is, would the government want to pay for the increase in operating tempo that would require?. I think you could justify it within the bounds of policy if we have to be able to deploy a battalion to work within a brigade overseas, but politics would take a hand, as would finances.
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Old February 25th, 2006   #10
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No, the policy is that army operates within a brigade structure not as a feild formation.
Yes they don't operate as a feild formation. My understanding is that the army trains within a brigade framework but if there is a requirement then 2 LFHQ provide the basis of a brigade HQ, with the Terrorital Force rounding out the regulars to form 3/1 RNZIR

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Oh, we could have a brigade formation if we wanted to, probably a binary brigade initialy. The trouble is, would the government want to pay for the increase in operating tempo that would require?. I think you could justify it within the bounds of policy if we have to be able to deploy a battalion to work within a brigade overseas, but politics would take a hand, as would finances.
Yes, within the bounds of policy we could justify a brigade, in order to stop the Artillery Regiment being used as infantry, like in East Timor. We could then be assured of been able to sustain a force overseas indifently. I don't think cost is a huge issue, as the most of the units alreadly exist, within the Regular Army. I know a 40% increase in the army's bugdet was talked about in the Land Force Review, but I'm sure the army could found some cost savings, after all they do maintain two land force HQ's
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Old February 25th, 2006   #11
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Yes they don't operate as a feild formation. My understanding is that the army trains within a brigade framework but if there is a requirement then 2 LFHQ provide the basis of a brigade HQ, with the Terrorital Force rounding out the regulars to form 3/1 RNZIR
There is nothing in current defence force structure or policy about any unit called 3/1 battalion. There are intentions for rampant ad-hocery such as happned in Timor based around RF subunits, territorials, and the artillery.


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Yes, within the bounds of policy we could justify a brigade, in order to stop the Artillery Regiment being used as infantry, like in East Timor. We could then be assured of been able to sustain a force overseas indifently. I don't think cost is a huge issue, as the most of the units alreadly exist, within the Regular Army. I know a 40% increase in the army's bugdet was talked about in the Land Force Review, but I'm sure the army could found some cost savings, after all they do maintain two land force HQ's
There was talk about a third battalion, and I think its a good idea {QAMR?}, but it would have required more money than the government was prepared to come up with. My concern is that if NZ does not have its forces training as a brigade we will loose the ability to operate in any meaningfull way with the Australians and also the Brits/Canadians, or in other operations that have brigade sized formations or larger. We will have lost the skills, and once lost they take a lot of time to get back.
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Old February 25th, 2006   #12
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My concern is that if NZ does not have its forces training as a brigade we will loose the ability to operate in any meaningfull way with the Australians and also the Brits/Canadians, or in other operations that have brigade sized formations or larger. We will have lost the skills, and once lost they take a lot of time to get back.
If NZ is contributing a brigade Australia's fair share would be 1 1/2 divisions which won't happen short of WWIII. Best bet would be an ANZAC brigade HQ with AUS/NZ co & NZ/Aus deputy rotating & proportional staffing. Nato has sh1tloads of these multinational HQs.
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Old February 25th, 2006   #13
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If NZ is contributing a brigade Australia's fair share would be 1 1/2 divisions which won't happen short of WWIII. Best bet would be an ANZAC brigade HQ with AUS/NZ co & NZ/Aus deputy rotating & proportional staffing. Nato has sh1tloads of these multinational HQs.
Sorry, I wasnt talking about deploying a brigade, only having a brigade formation in NZ for training purposes with the intent of being able to deploy battalion groups that can operate with other nations in formations.
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Old February 26th, 2006   #14
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3/1 RNZIR


There is nothing in current defence force structure or policy about any unit called 3/1 battalion. There are intentions for rampant ad-hocery such as happned in Timor based around RF subunits, territorials, and the artillery.
Stuart, as a reference to 3/1 refer to the Armed Forces of New Zealand by James Rolfe: Chap 6.p.121 & p.124. Both are referenced to NZDF Annual Report 1996 and NZ Army CGS Directive 10/97.

I know its getting dated as reference and I'll be more than happy to have my thinking updated, if any one has a more recent reference.
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Old February 26th, 2006   #15
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Stuart, as a reference to 3/1 refer to the Armed Forces of New Zealand by James Rolfe: Chap 6.p.121 & p.124. Both are referenced to NZDF Annual Report 1996 and NZ Army CGS Directive 10/97.

I know its getting dated as reference and I'll be more than happy to have my thinking updated, if any one has a more recent reference.
My understanding from looking at recent policy docs (sorry do not have them to hand) is that 3/1 is a round out unit (some regular but mostly TF) and it was used during the ET deployment. Will try and dig up the info.

The Army does need a brigade HQ even if it does not have a brigade worth of units. The problem that the Army faces is that Wellington cannot conceive of a reason that the army would ever have to fight, only keep the peace. Therefore it does not need the support units necessary for a brigade to be active in the field
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