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This is a discussion on Royal New Zealand Navy Discussions and Updates within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by Whiskyjack Yes they could. What we have done is build a force structure that is primarily suited ...


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Old May 23rd, 2006   #16
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Yes they could.

What we have done is build a force structure that is primarily suited to UN peace deployments, instead of a force that is structured to regional needs with a secondary UN role.
I wouldn't be so sure about that. The only force elements we lack is a serious indirect fire support capability. The line companies are pretty well equipped - certainly better than an opposition they are likley to face in a regional scenario.

One thing I have noted on this (and other) board(s) is that people assume things don't exist becase they haven't seen the ministry tendering for them. The threshold for the ministry handling a purchase is $7M. That's actually a hell of a lot of equipment. A companies worth of STANO/NVG kit runs at around $1.5M for example.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #17
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I wouldn't be so sure about that. The only force elements we lack is a serious indirect fire support capability. The line companies are pretty well equipped - certainly better than an opposition they are likley to face in a regional scenario.

One thing I have noted on this (and other) board(s) is that people assume things don't exist becase they haven't seen the ministry tendering for them. The threshold for the ministry handling a purchase is $7M. That's actually a hell of a lot of equipment. A companies worth of STANO/NVG kit runs at around $1.5M for example.
So how do you see what is essentially a mechanised (I have difficulty as seeing the LAV force as Motorised) force operating in the island environment of the South Pacific and South East Asia?

NZ will have the ability to lift one reinforced company on one ship that may or may not be available due to its commitments patrolling. NZ will have 5 upgraded C-130s that do not have the ability to deploy the ground forces main item of equipment.

My point is not that the NZ army is not well equipped (although I contend it is not equipped or organised for the environment and region that NZ interests are anchored in), but given the security situation in the SP and SEA how does NZ propose to employ the army?

Australia has many commitments overseas at the moment, roughly comparable to ours when size is taken into account. It has 800 soldiers on standby for East Timor, NZ has 30.

Originally in the late 90s NZ was to buy 60 APCs and 24 fire support vehicles to support the two infantry battalions. That turned into 105 25mm armed LAVs that are intergrated into 1 battalion (it was supposed to be both but not enough were bought). When was the last time NZ deployed to an operational environment that required a Mech force? Bosnia in the mid 90s and before that WW2!!! Light infantry on the other hand, Malaysia, Borneo, Vietnam, East Timor, Bouganville, Solomon Islands.

Where is NZ most likely to deploy in the National interest?



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Old May 23rd, 2006   #18
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[COLOR=black]So how do you see what is essentially a mechanised (I have difficulty as seeing the LAV force as Motorised) force operating in the island environment of the South Pacific and South East Asia?
Who said motorised infantry was the only option? 2/1 RNZIR is operating in the same light role it always has. If anything there are more options for deploying forces now than there have been. Don't get hung about capacity to transport individual kit. If you want to look at a likley scenario think about achieving a lodgement somewhere like Honiara or a service protected evacuation in the same place. Nothing in that country requires anything like five dozen armoured vehicles to be brough ashore.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #19
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Who said motorised infantry was the only option? 2/1 RNZIR is operating in the same light role it always has. If anything there are more options for deploying forces now than there have been. Don't get hung about capacity to transport individual kit. If you want to look at a likley scenario think about achieving a lodgement somewhere like Honiara or a service protected evacuation in the same place. Nothing in that country requires anything like five dozen armoured vehicles to be brough ashore.
But that is my point with 2 Battalions one is light and one is mech, so how will NZ ever deploy more than a reinforced company? Also the NZ army will have two doctrines for two different types of force. Or pay to train a force that is not suited to its environment?

As an example why not have two battalions based around the Royal Marines, with the QA providing the armoured lift as needed? That means that NZ can deploy one complete battalion and maintain it for a year, without having to re-role a battalion.

With the disbandment of airstrike where is the extra airlift that is needed? Plan on two 12,000 ton enforcer type LPDs and configure the army around them. Members of the NZ army should expect to be spending time on them as a force projection platform, not as an A to B ferry.

NZ has an opportunity with a 10-15 year plan to organise and equip a force that will be well suited to operations in NZs environment and useful in UN/Multinational forces.

Also most importantly, it is affordable!

As another option the NZ Army could keep the structure it has now and base a 'taskforce' around 1 x Mech, 1 x Light with support and recon elements. But it still needs the lift to go with it.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #20
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But that is my point with 2 Battalions one is light and one is mech, so how will NZ ever deploy more than a reinforced company? Also the NZ army will have two doctrines for two different types of force. Or pay to train a force that is not suited to its environment?

Deploying a battalion for a short duration isn't a problem. Concievably two could be deployed in an emergency. Don't presume that a battalion sized deploymen has to be made up or forces from the same battalion either.

Doctrine isn't really effected. Tactics may change, but they always do according to various vactors. Nothing I have seen or heard suggest that motorised forces couldn't be employed in the pacific. The main islands in Tonga, for example, are easily trafficable by LAV.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #21
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But that is my point with 2 Battalions one is light and one is mech, so how will NZ ever deploy more than a reinforced company? Also the NZ army will have two doctrines for two different types of force. Or pay to train a force that is not suited to its environment?

As an example why not have two battalions based around the Royal Marines, with the QA providing the armoured lift as needed? That means that NZ can deploy one complete battalion and maintain it for a year, without having to re-role a battalion.

With the disbandment of airstrike where is the extra airlift that is needed? Plan on two 12,000 ton enforcer type LPDs and configure the army around them. Members of the NZ army should expect to be spending time on them as a force projection platform, not as an A to B ferry.

NZ has an opportunity with a 10-15 year plan to organise and equip a force that will be well suited to operations in NZs environment and useful in UN/Multinational forces.

Also most importantly, it is affordable!

As another option the NZ Army could keep the structure it has now and base a 'taskforce' around 1 x Mech, 1 x Light with support and recon elements. But it still needs the lift to go with it.
NZ deployed a battlion group in East Timor for an extended period (greater than 12 months) in 99/00.

Just because 1 unit IS equipped with a motorised/mechanised capability does not mean they cannot "re-role" for light infantry operations.

If an extended deployment came along, the light inf battalion would deploy and the other would begin workups for light inf ops. If a deployment came along that required a motorised force to be deployed, the motorised battalion would go and the other would begin workups on the remaining motorised capability and relieve the other battalion "in-situ" and operate their equipment.

The difference between motorised and light infantry ops is not that great. The motorised capability is used to provide a transport and light firepower capability. The bulk of the "fighting" is still done as a light infantry force. It's not a mechanised situation where the vehicles will assault positions WITH the troops...
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #22
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Deploying a battalion for a short duration isn't a problem. Concievably two could be deployed in an emergency. Don't presume that a battalion sized deploymen has to be made up or forces from the same battalion either.

Doctrine isn't really effected. Tactics may change, but they always do according to various vactors. Nothing I have seen or heard suggest that motorised forces couldn't be employed in the pacific. The main islands in Tonga, for example, are easily trafficable by LAV.
I don't think we are talking about the same thing here. Well I would have done something different with the Army organisation, it is a workable organisation. The LAV is a good piece of kit and as mentioned above I would like to see task groups based on the light and mech companies.

With the 10 year plan that has been introduced around manpower and enlistment I think that the Army will have more personnel to work with and reediness levels will increase.

The issue I have is that with the exception of the MRV, how do we deploy the Army? To my mind the MRV is a good vessel and leaps and bounds better than nothing. IMO NZ needs 2 ships capable of deploying 500-600 men across a beach, not in an opposed landing, but across the beach in a hostile situation, and support them for at least two weeks. These ships are also floating hospitals, disaster relief and UN/Coalition support ships.

If NZ had to move a task force of 500-600 men made up of units from both battalions and support units in a hurry to Fiji or East Timor, how would it get them there and support them with no close logistics base?

The MRV gives NZ the ability to deploy an LAV company world wide, but it limits the deployment IMO.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #23
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NZ deployed a battlion group in East Timor for an extended period (greater than 12 months) in 99/00.

Just because 1 unit IS equipped with a motorised/mechanised capability does not mean they cannot "re-role" for light infantry operations.

If an extended deployment came along, the light inf battalion would deploy and the other would begin workups for light inf ops. If a deployment came along that required a motorised force to be deployed, the motorised battalion would go and the other would begin workups on the remaining motorised capability and relieve the other battalion "in-situ" and operate their equipment.

The difference between motorised and light infantry ops is not that great. The motorised capability is used to provide a transport and light firepower capability. The bulk of the "fighting" is still done as a light infantry force. It's not a mechanised situation where the vehicles will assault positions WITH the troops...
I disagree that the LAV structure is motorised, from what I can see of motorised units the dismounted unit is an infantry platoon, e.g. Stryker in the US and Saxon in the UK. The LAV in NZ service is structured a cross between, neither Mech or Motorised. The make up of an LAV platoon is more reminiscent of a Warrior or Bradley platoon.

See my comments above as far as deployment goes. I do not agree with the current org, but I can live with it, if it is used to its full potential.

The lack of recon in all its various forms is an issue as well.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #24
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I don't think we are talking about the same thing here. Well I would have done something different with the Army organisation, it is a workable organisation. The LAV is a good piece of kit and as mentioned above I would like to see task groups based on the light and mech companies.

With the 10 year plan that has been introduced around manpower and enlistment I think that the Army will have more personnel to work with and reediness levels will increase.

The issue I have is that with the exception of the MRV, how do we deploy the Army? To my mind the MRV is a good vessel and leaps and bounds better than nothing. IMO NZ needs 2 ships capable of deploying 500-600 men across a beach, not in an opposed landing, but across the beach in a hostile situation, and support them for at least two weeks. These ships are also floating hospitals, disaster relief and UN/Coalition support ships.

If NZ had to move a task force of 500-600 men made up of units from both battalions and support units in a hurry to Fiji or East Timor, how would it get them there and support them with no close logistics base?

The MRV gives NZ the ability to deploy an LAV company world wide, but it limits the deployment IMO.
Chartered civilian ships and RNZAF B-757 aircraft I'd imagine.

The C-130's and MRV would be used for deploying "small elements" of forces to "seize" or secure a beachhead or airport. Civilian modes of transport and the B-757 would have to make up the remainder of the transport capacity, assuming of course that NZ woud "go it alone" and would not utilise Australia's ever increasing transport capability. Afterall Australia has a very high opinion of NZ forces and are always pleased to operate alongside of them.

Perhaps a high speed craft similar to the lease HMAS Jervis Bay that Australia used in 99 should be looked at for NZ?

Such designs are very affordable, offer great carrying capacity at very high speeds over long ranges and have little manning requirements.The bigger vessels can operate in heavy sea states and carry large numbers of troops in relative comfort, but can also carry significant quantities of vehicles and materiel.

Just one of these to support the MRV would make a HUGE difference. HMAS Jervis Bay deployed the bulk of Australia's forces, equipment and supplies singlehandedly in ET... NZ could probably pick one up for less than $50m too...
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #25
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I don't think we are talking about the same thing here. Well I would have done something different with the Army organisation, it is a workable organisation. The LAV is a good piece of kit and as mentioned above I would like to see task groups based on the light and mech companies.[/COLOR]
You seem to be looking for a barracks with 'infantry task force' painted on its door. You're not going to find one.

What you will find is light infantry companies and motorised infantry companies; foot, light and medium reconaissance squadrons and the necessary support units.

Before adding more ships the first step would be to increase the availability of the existing ones. The MRV will only be funded for 90 sea days.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #26
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The lack of recon in all its various forms is an issue as well.
Explain please.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #27
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Chartered civilian ships and RNZAF B-757 aircraft I'd imagine.

The C-130's and MRV would be used for deploying "small elements" of forces to "seize" or secure a beachhead or airport. Civilian modes of transport and the B-757 would have to make up the remainder of the transport capacity, assuming of course that NZ woud "go it alone" and would not utilise Australia's ever increasing transport capability. Afterall Australia has a very high opinion of NZ forces and are always pleased to operate alongside of them.

Perhaps a high speed craft similar to the lease HMAS Jervis Bay that Australia used in 99 should be looked at for NZ?

Such designs are very affordable, offer great carrying capacity at very high speeds over long ranges and have little manning requirements.The bigger vessels can operate in heavy sea states and carry large numbers of troops in relative comfort, but can also carry significant quantities of vehicles and materiel.

Just one of these to support the MRV would make a HUGE difference. HMAS Jervis Bay deployed the bulk of Australia's forces, equipment and supplies singlehandedly in ET... NZ could probably pick one up for less than $50m too...
Look I am not disagreeing that NZ could go that way. All I am saying is that in a 10 year plan NZ could afford to structure and equip in such a way that it can carry out independent operations or contribute in conjunction with Australia. A LPD type ship (whatever form it takes) operating with an RAN LPH will allow for options for any taskforce commander. The doctrine and technology is there and it is affordable for NZ. I think that the ability to deploy and sustain a task force from one ship is desirable and well within the national interest.

I also happen to think that NZ which is prone to many natural disasters needs such ships to support disaster relief efforts, both local and international.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #28
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You seem to be looking for a barracks with 'infantry task force' painted on its door. You're not going to find one.

What you will find is light infantry companies and motorised infantry companies; foot, light and medium reconaissance squadrons and the necessary support units.

Before adding more ships the first step would be to increase the availability of the existing ones. The MRV will only be funded for 90 sea days.
I am not looking for that, what I am looking for is a command group that has experiance operating with such a force composition, and I have yet to see that happen. The bricks are there it just needs to be built on a more regular basis. If it does not train together on a more regular basis it will not deploy together as well it it could do.

The MRV is a good ship but IMO it is seen as a A to B transport for the Army. I would like to see the MRV used and experimented with to build a force structure in the future that is deployable and able to be deployed.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #29
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Explain please.
NZ is a well educated nation that has the ability to use technology. I would like to see a recon force that can network the army, navy, air force to make a small force more powerful due to situational awareness. What I see now is a bit to traditional given current technology.
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Old May 23rd, 2006   #30
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I am not looking for that, what I am looking for is a command group that has experiance operating with such a force composition, and I have yet to see that happen. The bricks are there it just needs to be built on a more regular basis. If it does not train together on a more regular basis it will not deploy together as well it it could do.

The MRV is a good ship but IMO it is seen as a A to B transport for the Army. I would like to see the MRV used and experimented with to build a force structure in the future that is deployable and able to be deployed.

Can you support those comments? 1 RNZIR has spent the last couple of years operating both light infantry and motorised infantry together. Where to you think that experience goes?
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