New Zealand Army

RegR

Well-Known Member
Invulnerable LAVs are they? The rounds just bounce of the Kiwi Mana I guess.
Just as "invulnerable" as the crews inside them, missiles bounce off them even less. If someone is destroying 30+ LAV then you can rest assured they are taking a few crew with them and if we had all these spare crews sitting around then we wouldn't have excess LAV in the first place would we! Because they would be crewed!! You really need to stop comparing NZ to the Ukraine, for more reasons than 1, as if anything they have the opposite problem to us, lots of manpower and not enough armour to equip units. We have 4500 regulars and 2000 reserves and are short, they have 200,000 regulars and 300,000 reserves+, slight difference in available manpower.
 

kiwipatriot69

Active Member
Just as "invulnerable" as the crews inside them, missiles bounce off them even less. If someone is destroying 30+ LAV then you can rest assured they are taking a few crew with them and if we had all these spare crews sitting around then we wouldn't have excess LAV in the first place would we! Because they would be crewed!! You really need to stop comparing NZ to the Ukraine, for more reasons than 1, as if anything they have the opposite problem to us, lots of manpower and not enough armour to equip units. We have 4500 regulars and 2000 reserves and are short, they have 200,000 regulars and 300,000 reserves+, slight difference in available manpower.
I wonder if the Ipv were to sold off to the Irish for the same reasons, trouble crewing them?

They seemed perfectly capable in recent years to be sent to do fisheries patrol in fiji .

Was it just bought politicians that made the Solomons switch sides to China, or was it also Nz not being able to contribute to patrols through lack of available ships ? Now were even worse off.

Seems like we're failing at the basics here too not just the high end defensive capability.

Our Navy has roughly the same number of patrol ships as Fiji does now, albeit with far greater capabilities still pathetic for the size of our economy and responsibility.
 

RegR

Well-Known Member
I wonder if the Ipv were to sold off to the Irish for the same reasons, trouble crewing them?

They seemed perfectly capable in recent years to be sent to do fisheries patrol in fiji .

Was it just bought politicians that made the Solomons switch sides to China, or was it also Nz not being able to contribute to patrols through lack of available ships ? Now were even worse off.

Seems like we're failing at the basics here too not just the high end defensive capability.

Our Navy has roughly the same number of patrol ships as Fiji does now, albeit with far greater capabilities still pathetic for the size of our economy and responsibility.
Yip, navy even said as much themselves years ago when they didn't meet their sea day quotas and everyone fell for the capability excuse even though they were far more capable then what they replaced (imagine an IPC patrolling in the Pacific), and now we don't have 2 IPVs or the 3rd OPV/SOPV that was to replace them. And just like NZLAV deemed to complex and a technical to just give back to the Rockies in the regions to keep their sea days up. Engineers lost their LAV for the same reason, keeping crews qualified and proficient on the vehicle type was problematic when there were other priorities so they were withdrawn.

In a way it's not really anyones fault directly, times have changed and the military just does not have the draw it once did or more importantly the longevity to retain those it does, which is an important factor, especially for technical trades and specialist equipment. Outside influences continue to lure experienced DF pers (a product of the quality training and discipline) and the younger generation move on more readily now when they find it getting alittle tough (a product of the quality training and discipline...). The same issues remain, pay (even though its alot better), work life balance, stress, boredom, repetitiveness etc etc and a 20 year stint in the military is not as prevelant anymore as benefits are eroded. Recruitment just keeps pace with attrition but experience retention is the key. Like I said I would be very surprised to see army expansion dreams come to fruition anytime soon without a dramatic change in policy and with funding cuts again looming and defence always the easiest fall guy I highly doubt it.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Actually in passing, an IPC sailed from here across the Pacific to the US then across to the Atlantic where it now is up for auction in the UK because it was caught smuggling drugs. From memory it's Kahu, the ex Ngaponga Division boat.

@RegR just to be clear WRT NZLAV replacements we aren't talking about Army & NZDF manning now or 20 years ago, nor the situation it faced then. We are talking about the future and the geostrategic situation the NZ finds itself in now and will most likely in the future. That's what has to be addressed and not limited by the policy and settings based on a 2016 DWP and a 2019 DPS that are now out of date because of events in the last two years.

Next point; your assertion that what's happening in the Russian - Ukrainian war doesn't matter here WRT the NZ Army. That's utter crap. It does very much because it is two near peer armies battling it out with types of weapons that we use. Every military force worth its salt will be very closely watching this conflict. We may have to go up against the PLA-GF and they will definitely be studying this very closely. Hopefully we never have to, but it's hope for the best and prepare for the worse. That's the mantra of any good defence force.

It is the type of conflict that we could / would be part of and as such it is very much lessons that we need to learn. One is that we can forget about light infantry because they'll be chewed up in seconds. The next is that we need to change is how we look at anti armour and anti air (including missile) warfare. So each infantry section will require an ATMG and MANPAD most times when they go walkabout. They also need to be permanently based out of an AFV / IFV, which conveys them to the where they need to be and provides overwatch. The current NZLAV doesn't meet that criteria.
 

Gracie1234

Active Member
The other major aspects of this conflict that will require a lot of work is the role of intelligence, drones (ISR & attack), cyberwarefare and communications. Case in point, the role of Starlink, and how a private company provided a key communications channel and also fought off an attack from Russia. Elon Musk's Starlink Fought off Russian Jamming Attack in Ukraine.
It is easy to think of conflicts in terms of what technology/platforms/weapons were around 20 years ago, but things have moved on and will continue to do so. As a small light force, we need to be at the leading edge of these innovations.
Also of note is that as a country we need capabilities to match different threat thresholds, for example, China will not build a large base in the Solomon Island tomorrow but will build increasingly larger more complex capability and the threats will be Grey Zone first before potentially getting Kinetic. Our focus needs to be on facing the Grey Zone asap before it becomes endemic. For me, that would indicate a prioritisation not on the Army but on Surveillance and Patrol Capabilities over the next couple of years. I am not saying that Army is not a priority.
 

recce.k1

Well-Known Member
It is the type of conflict that we could / would be part of and as such it is very much lessons that we need to learn. One is that we can forget about light infantry because they'll be chewed up in seconds. The next is that we need to change is how we look at anti armour and anti air (including missile) warfare. So each infantry section will require an ATMG and MANPAD most times when they go walkabout. They also need to be permanently based out of an AFV / IFV, which conveys them to the where they need to be and provides overwatch. [snip].
The other major aspects of this conflict that will require a lot of work is the role of intelligence, drones (ISR & attack), cyberwarefare and communications.
[snip]
As a small light force, we need to be at the leading edge of these innovations.
Also of note is that as a country we need capabilities to match different threat thresholds,[snip]
Glad you guys brought these up, as none of these are "unaffordable" (or OTT) for a relatively small defence force like ours (and frankly with the war in Ukraine raising Kiwi people's and media awareness of such technologies in conflicts, one could envisage the same Kiwi people and media being fully supportive of having such systems equipping our military personnel for the protection (as they would only question why are our forces being inadequately outfitted etc).

In terms of the use of UAV/drones for ISR in the Ukraine conflict, I am intrigued to see so much footage watching over for example Russian forces, how come they aren't being jammed or taken out (well perhaps they are at times for all we know but how come not as much as one would expect with the amount of footage online)?

So for the NZDF does each Army squad or platoon need a team dedicated to UAV ISR and countermeasures? (Imagine if the NZDF in Afghanistan had them during the Battle of Baghak)! If this is practical does this mean new squads or platoons with this specialisation or would they be part of existing heavy weapons squads or platoons (or rather Combat Support elements etc)? Asking to figure out whether not only could new personnel and specialisation be needed (and therefore linkages to recruiting) but interested to understand if this means more personnel to be carried by protected IFV's (and therefore require more IFV's in the fleet ... or needing increased helicopter carrying capacity and/or numbers etc), or would we need more "second tier" vehicles (probably not the best description I know) like for example protected Bushmasters?
 

RegR

Well-Known Member
Actually in passing, an IPC sailed from here across the Pacific to the US then across to the Atlantic where it now is up for auction in the UK because it was caught smuggling drugs. From memory it's Kahu, the ex Ngaponga Division boat.

@RegR just to be clear WRT NZLAV replacements we aren't talking about Army & NZDF manning now or 20 years ago, nor the situation it faced then. We are talking about the future and the geostrategic situation the NZ finds itself in now and will most likely in the future. That's what has to be addressed and not limited by the policy and settings based on a 2016 DWP and a 2019 DPS that are now out of date because of events in the last two years.

Next point; your assertion that what's happening in the Russian - Ukrainian war doesn't matter here WRT the NZ Army. That's utter crap. It does very much because it is two near peer armies battling it out with types of weapons that we use. Every military force worth its salt will be very closely watching this conflict. We may have to go up against the PLA-GF and they will definitely be studying this very closely. Hopefully we never have to, but it's hope for the best and prepare for the worse. That's the mantra of any good defence force.

It is the type of conflict that we could / would be part of and as such it is very much lessons that we need to learn. One is that we can forget about light infantry because they'll be chewed up in seconds. The next is that we need to change is how we look at anti armour and anti air (including missile) warfare. So each infantry section will require an ATMG and MANPAD most times when they go walkabout. They also need to be permanently based out of an AFV / IFV, which conveys them to the where they need to be and provides overwatch. The current NZLAV doesn't meet that criteria.
But we're not talking about NZLAV replacements, we are talking about the excess NZLAV we have had in storage since their purchase and the validity of holding onto them "just in case", I'm talking quantity not quality, that's a whole other argument.

The usefulness, or not, of LAV in a Ukraine type situation is another story altogether but since you ask, no I don't believe they will fare any better under the circumstances, but I'm sure deep down we already knew this as NZLAV was never meant to tangle with MBTs anyway never mind take a direct missile hit. But tbh would any vehicle system in all honesty, armour gets better, missiles get better, countermeasures get better, counter-counter measures get better and around and around we go. That's the problem with development, it's always developing.

Of course NZDF are watching, all militaries worth their salt are as this is an actual test bed of modern warfare that even 20 years in Afghanistan cannot compare with (despite what alot of Americans think), whereas IEDs were the developing threat there, missiles are the threat to be countered here. I think we have always had the idea with javelin and mistral, govt just needs to take the capability(s) seriously as Ukraine has proven the serious effects, for both sides. Hopefully an increase in numbers of the (well proven) AT systems and a complete regeneration of our AA systems is on the cards after recent lessons learned. Drones is another point I hope NZDF takes on and again while we have dabbled over the years someone in the know needs to just get serious and commit fully.

Countering developments from this war and thinking that same war is going to hit NZ shores are very different things just like the amount of equipment vs the available manpower capable of operating it is.
 

RegR

Well-Known Member
Actually in passing, an IPC sailed from here across the Pacific to the US then across to the Atlantic where it now is up for auction in the UK because it was caught smuggling drugs. From memory it's Kahu, the ex Ngaponga Division boat.

@RegR just to be clear WRT NZLAV replacements we aren't talking about Army & NZDF manning now or 20 years ago, nor the situation it faced then. We are talking about the future and the geostrategic situation the NZ finds itself in now and will most likely in the future. That's what has to be addressed and not limited by the policy and settings based on a 2016 DWP and a 2019 DPS that are now out of date because of events in the last two years.

Next point; your assertion that what's happening in the Russian - Ukrainian war doesn't matter here WRT the NZ Army. That's utter crap. It does very much because it is two near peer armies battling it out with types of weapons that we use. Every military force worth its salt will be very closely watching this conflict. We may have to go up against the PLA-GF and they will definitely be studying this very closely. Hopefully we never have to, but it's hope for the best and prepare for the worse. That's the mantra of any good defence force.

It is the type of conflict that we could / would be part of and as such it is very much lessons that we need to learn. One is that we can forget about light infantry because they'll be chewed up in seconds. The next is that we need to change is how we look at anti armour and anti air (including missile) warfare. So each infantry section will require an ATMG and MANPAD most times when they go walkabout. They also need to be permanently based out of an AFV / IFV, which conveys them to the where they need to be and provides overwatch. The current NZLAV doesn't meet that criteria.
And on the IPC, I bet they did not enjoy that though or want to make it a regular occurrence...
 

Hone C

Active Member
So for the NZDF does each Army squad or platoon need a team dedicated to UAV ISR and countermeasures? (Imagine if the NZDF in Afghanistan had them during the Battle of Baghak)! If this is practical does this mean new squads or platoons with this specialisation or would they be part of existing heavy weapons squads or platoons (or rather Combat Support elements etc)? Asking to figure out whether not only could new personnel and specialisation be needed (and therefore linkages to recruiting) but interested to understand if this means more personnel to be carried by protected IFV's (and therefore require more IFV's in the fleet ... or needing increased helicopter carrying capacity and/or numbers etc), or would we need more "second tier" vehicles (probably not the best description I know) like for example protected Bushmasters?
Interesting question.

The USMC has increased its squad size to 15 men, to include a JNCO as 'squad systems operator', and IMHO the integration of UAV and counter UAV capability at section and platoon level is the future.

A Slovenian officer, Maj Viktor Potocnik, wrote an article back in 2018 exploring the integration of heavier weapons and technology at platoon level, and the impact on command, vehicle carrying capacity, the physical burden on soldiers, etc. that you might find worth reading.

He concluded, like the USMC, that sections and platoons needed more soldiers, proposing a 48 strong platoon structure. As you said above, this would require more vehicle/Heli lift.

It does seem a bit academic when we are struggling to maintain the existing infantry battalions at half strength though. The offer needs to fundamentally improve in order to attract and retain the right talent.

 
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Stuart M

Well-Known Member
Just as "invulnerable" as the crews inside them, missiles bounce off them even less. If someone is destroying 30+ LAV then you can rest assured they are taking a few crew with them and if we had all these spare crews sitting around then we wouldn't have excess LAV in the first place would we! Because they would be crewed!! You really need to stop comparing NZ to the Ukraine, for more reasons than 1, as if anything they have the opposite problem to us, lots of manpower and not enough armour to equip units. We have 4500 regulars and 2000 reserves and are short, they have 200,000 regulars and 300,000 reserves+, slight difference in available manpower.
And without those spare LAVs the poor bloody replacment infantry that are actually deployed will be exactly where their forefathers were in places like Bapume. If we had excess LAVs, or whatever replaces them, a unit/sub-unit can be sustained, without them it cannot be sustained at all. Just as it is with the rule of three for deploying a unit, the same basic principle holds with equipment or even spare parts (ever wonder why an aircraft order comes with spare engines?), to keep it at strength it must have replacement equipment available for when gear is destroyed or otherwise unavailable..

You seem to be under the illusion the equipment is not destroyed in war, I assure you that it is, which is why I asked you above to address combat and non combat losses in WW2 and how it was dealt with, which you have not done. I have also referenced above an article on the lack of capacity of Western industry to sustain high intensity war, which makes attrition spares even more of an urgency because once it's gone it will be bloody difficult to get more.

You mention Ukraine's manpower, and lack of equipment.. that's the point!.. you think they might want some.. attrition spares maybe? It's not just a question of manpower, losses in equipment must be made good for a unit/army to continue, or it becomes ineffective.
 

RegR

Well-Known Member
And without those spare LAVs the poor bloody replacment infantry that are actually deployed will be exactly where their forefathers were in places like Bapume. If we had excess LAVs, or whatever replaces them, a unit/sub-unit can be sustained, without them it cannot be sustained at all. Just as it is with the rule of three for deploying a unit, the same basic principle holds with equipment or even spare parts (ever wonder why an aircraft order comes with spare engines?), to keep it at strength it must have replacement equipment available for when gear is destroyed or otherwise unavailable..

You seem to be under the illusion the equipment is not destroyed in war, I assure you that it is, which is why I asked you above to address combat and non combat losses in WW2 and how it was dealt with, which you have not done. I have also referenced above an article on the lack of capacity of Western industry to sustain high intensity war, which makes attrition spares even more of an urgency because once it's gone it will be bloody difficult to get more.

You mention Ukraine's manpower, and lack of equipment.. that's the point!.. you think they might want some.. attrition spares maybe? It's not just a question of manpower, losses in equipment must be made good for a unit/army to continue, or it becomes ineffective.
You still don't get it. We don't have the crews to operate the LAVs in the first place and if we did then we wouldn't have excess LAVs sitting idle for 20 years. We don't have spare armoured crews, we have spare LAVs, again BECAUSE WE DONT HAVE ENOUGH CREWMEN!! If we had the crew to crew them then we wouldn't need to sell them! Kinda the whole point.

And you seem to be under the illusion that when a vehicle is destroyed that the crew just respawns, jumps into another vehicle and off they go! Pretty naive dont you think in this day and age? These missiles are taking off turrets not puncturing tyres. And yes, planes come with spare engines, they dont come with entire spare planes, slight difference. So by your logic we should get another 3 C130js, to go with the 5 we are getting, hide them away in a hanger somewhere just in case and then if and when 3 are shot down we can use them, even though we have no pilots and crew to fly them because they went down with the first 3?? Sounds expensive and pointless.

You do understand not all infantry ride around in the back of LAV for a living right? I mention Ukraine because they have the opposite problem to us, they have more manpower than "LAVs" so they have the crews to use the vehicles they already have and some. Yes I'm sure they want spares, thing is they wont be spare, they will be used, because they have the people to do so or are you assuming as well that their vehicles, and by some miracle, only their vehicles are whats being destroyed in this war?... Still not sure why you are not understanding the concept and the glaring difference between their situation and ours?
 

Rob c

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
BECAUSE WE DONT HAVE ENOUGH CREWMEN!!
When the s--t hits the fan, I can assure you that crew would be found or trained for any equipment available. Past history in warfare clearly shows that as you get deeper into a conflict, the need for both replacement trained and replacement equipment procured. Just look what is happening in Ukraine. The point a lot of people miss, including our miss guided pollies is that the primary function of a defence force is to protect their countries sovereignty and freedom and the first task in the NZDF's list of responsibilities is to protect NZ from external armed threats. Unfortunately our miss guided pollies want the money to get votes so they have let that slide. You should equip your forces to enable them to defend you country, not for what they need in peace time. In the case of the LAV's we decided that the current China Solomon's agreement we needed to rapidly increase the size of our army, we could train more manpower far quicker than we could get more equipment, including LAV's. The Idea that you should only have the equipment levels that you can use in peace time is a been counters view of defence, which completely misses the point that the defence force is there to DEFEND.
The peace time tasking's of the defence force are simply a case of making good use of that asset when it does not have to carry out it's primary task of defending NZ. I will acknowledge that currently, due to our miss guided pollies policies they would struggle to defend Great Barrier island but that does not take away from what they should be set up to do.
 
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recce.k1

Well-Known Member
When the s--t hits the fan, I can assure you that crew would be found or trained for any equipment available. Past history in warfare clearly shows that as you get deeper into a conflict, the need for both replacement trained and replacement equipment procured. Just look what is happening in Ukraine. The point a lot of people miss, including our miss guided pollies is that the primary function of a defence force is to protect their countries sovereignty and freedom and the first task in the NZDF's list of responsibilities is to protect NZ from external armed threats. Unfortunately our miss guided pollies want the money to get votes so they have let that slide. You should equip your forces to enable them to defend you country, not for what they need in peace time. In the case of the LAV's we decided that the current China Solomon's agreement we needed to rapidly increase the size of our army, we could train more manpower far quicker than we could get more equipment, including LAV's. The Idea that you should only have the equipment levels that you can use in peace time is a been counters view of defence, which completely misses the point that the defence force is there to DEFEND.
The peace time tasking's of the defence force are simply a case of making good use of that asset when it does not have to carry out it's primary task of defending NZ. I will acknowledge that currently, due to our miss guided pollies policies they would struggle to defend Great Barrier island but that does not take away from what they should be set up to do.
Well said Rob. I was going to thank Reg for his response to my questions the other day (but once I researched the Army expansion plan, which is about 90% done, as I was going to include that in my reply), but as discussions here have moved on, in a very brief nutshell the reason why IMO we didn't fully crew the LAV's as originally planned (well likely the main reason, as could be others that added to the problem) is that the Army was stretched with the large and long deployments in East Timor and then Afghanistan (compounded by competing operations in Tonga, the Solomons and ET again in the 2000's-early/mid 2010's etc) whereby personnel from various units and specialisations were re-tasked with light infantry type roles to support the various rotations to Afghanistan and the PRT, and then later increased security elements to protect the PRT as the Taliban became more "invasive". The gunners were a well known and publicised example. And this all also impacted on the likes of experienced NCO's (which I recall was documented at the time).

So no wonder LAV crew training suffered (and unlike say Bosnia the decade before, the emphasis was less on needing such protected mobility therefore less of a priority in the overall scheme). And who to sheet the blame home to? How about the poiticians for not learning lessons from ET (unlike the ADF which was boosted in terms of soldiers and naval capacity etc).

Anyway all somewhat moot as that was in the past. Fast forward to today, DCP19 signaled the pollies (with the help of DefMin Ron Mark, former soldier) appeared to have finally learnt the lessons of the past and sanctioned a plan to raise Army personnel numbers by 22%. And that's not by growing the Army to raise a third battalion (a worthy but separate subject for discussion and debate) but to ensure the current structure is filled and presumably to allow for new capabilities (such as Networked Enabled Army etc).

The only questions I have (and haven't figured out yet via research) is related to exactly where the increased numbers will go to and the timeframes. The end date is supposedly 2035 (and I think there is a 2030 mid-point but I could be wrong).

However as to today in the latest Army News they outline a 4 year Army regeneration plan to get things back on track ("Phase 1: Warfighting Function Regeneration (Jul 22 – Jun 24) and Phase 2: Combined Arms (Combat Team-Battlegroup) Regeneration (Jul 24 – Jun 26)"), so that's a start.

As for the LAV situation again and the ones recently sold, I figure they weren't kept on as the plans to sell them long pre-date the more recent Army expansion plan (DCP19). DCP19 also signals the Army requiring additional vehicles as the Army expansion progresses in the later part of this decade (but doesn't get into specifics, this early in the plan, which makes sense as future options are yet to be explored).

However what we do know is that the current LAV's are to be upgraded or replaced around 2026. Interesting that DCP19 now uses the term "replaced" (rather than "upgraded"). And at this point in time who knows what is envisaged eg IFV or reconnaissance variants for QAMR? For the battalions? The DCP19 budget is rather limited suggesting they could be for QAMR and "motorising" the battalions is not the current plan, however could that change a la the Ukraine experience? Or could we see more protected Bushmaster types for the infantry etc?

One final thought on attritrition and war stock reserves. If this is to be deemed important and if the pollies and bean counters could be swayed (and make allowances in the areas of capital charges and the need for a budget to maintain vehicles and upgrade parts/software), well then should there be lobbying to keep the 80-odd remaining LAV's in reserve as their replacements start rolling in? Like I say it will cost money to keep them functional even if sitting in a garage and require some personnel that can both maintain its systems (Shane alluded to some parts reaching EOL) and train others on how to operate them if the need arises. This of course is a bean counters nightmare (and the NZDF's too if they are not adequately funded and resourced to do so) but if the geo-political situation warrants it, perhaps it is something which just has to be budgeted for?
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
When the s--t hits the fan, I can assure you that crew would be found or trained for any equipment available. Past history in warfare clearly shows that as you get deeper into a conflict, the need for both replacement trained and replacement equipment procured. Just look what is happening in Ukraine. The point a lot of people miss, including our miss guided pollies is that the primary function of a defence force is to protect their countries sovereignty and freedom and the first task in the NZDF's list of responsibilities is to protect NZ from external armed threats. Unfortunately our miss guided pollies want the money to get votes so they have let that slide. You should equip your forces to enable them to defend you country, not for what they need in peace time. In the case of the LAV's we decided that the current China Solomon's agreement we needed to rapidly increase the size of our army, we could train more manpower far quicker than we could get more equipment, including LAV's. The Idea that you should only have the equipment levels that you can use in peace time is a been counters view of defence, which completely misses the point that the defence force is there to DEFEND.
The peace time tasking's of the defence force are simply a case of making good use of that asset when it does not have to carry out it's primary task of defending NZ. I will acknowledge that currently, due to our miss guided pollies policies they would struggle to defend Great Barrier island but that does not take away from what they should be set up to do.
Pollies elected to Parliament are sent there by ignorant voters ( who pollies know how to exploit). Until the voters are educated, BS will prevail. Sadly the only education that will work is a situation similar to what Ukrainian citizens are experiencing now.
 

RegR

Well-Known Member
When the s--t hits the fan, I can assure you that crew would be found or trained for any equipment available. Past history in warfare clearly shows that as you get deeper into a conflict, the need for both replacement trained and replacement equipment procured. Just look what is happening in Ukraine. The point a lot of people miss, including our miss guided pollies is that the primary function of a defence force is to protect their countries sovereignty and freedom and the first task in the NZDF's list of responsibilities is to protect NZ from external armed threats. Unfortunately our miss guided pollies want the money to get votes so they have let that slide. You should equip your forces to enable them to defend you country, not for what they need in peace time. In the case of the LAV's we decided that the current China Solomon's agreement we needed to rapidly increase the size of our army, we could train more manpower far quicker than we could get more equipment, including LAV's. The Idea that you should only have the equipment levels that you can use in peace time is a been counters view of defence, which completely misses the point that the defence force is there to DEFEND.
The peace time tasking's of the defence force are simply a case of making good use of that asset when it does not have to carry out it's primary task of defending NZ. I will acknowledge that currently, due to our miss guided pollies policies they would struggle to defend Great Barrier island but that does not take away from what they should be set up to do.
By who? When the s--t hits the fan as you say it's going to be all hands on deck to use what we have and we will need all that we currently do have just to fill current shortages to do the bare minimum. So now we are suggesting essentially parking up even more LAV and diverting experienced crews away from, as you say defending NZ, to run courses to train up quick fire (literally) LAV crews? What other corps will this theory work for when "the s--t" hits the fan considering alot of units are already understrength running at 50-70% manning in technical trades (again armoured and infantry are different roles, for a reason)? As I said being such a small army in such a small country (a whole other factor I wont even get into) will require all hands on deck from day 1 just to do the job required unless of course we are given a heads up pre invasion to get some training in down in the QA carpark. Handing over a NZLAV is alittle different to giving out stored steyrs, 10 mags and giving a quick soldiers five. Even the Brits have taken Ukranians to the UK to conduct conversion courses on mastiffs and jackals, which are by comparison actually simple vehicle systems. If you think NZ will have anytime to do any of that with the limited resources, reserves and even quick fire re-enlistments we do have "when the s--t hits the fan" then you are either seriously underestimating the size and depth of our military to begin with or any advance warning an invading force will give us beforehand, but the sentiments nice.

Much like our regular force our reserves have dropped off quite markedly and they are literally now more aimed at filling the gaps we have now rather than bolstering the numbers we will need, as bad as it sounds, replaced. I have no doubt that people will come out of the treeline and take up arms but even that will require some level of training to be ultimately effective. The reason nations are sending in like tanks and AFVs, jets etc is because Ukranian military (as in already serving) are already familiar, trained and can support these types ASAP, keyword already, otherwise if they had time for training then more improved (and arguably survivable) systems like M1 Abrams, Warriors and F-16s etc would have been sent in at the start for them to use.
 

RegR

Well-Known Member
Well said Rob. I was going to thank Reg for his response to my questions the other day (but once I researched the Army expansion plan, which is about 90% done, as I was going to include that in my reply), but as discussions here have moved on, in a very brief nutshell the reason why IMO we didn't fully crew the LAV's as originally planned (well likely the main reason, as could be others that added to the problem) is that the Army was stretched with the large and long deployments in East Timor and then Afghanistan (compounded by competing operations in Tonga, the Solomons and ET again in the 2000's-early/mid 2010's etc) whereby personnel from various units and specialisations were re-tasked with light infantry type roles to support the various rotations to Afghanistan and the PRT, and then later increased security elements to protect the PRT as the Taliban became more "invasive". The gunners were a well known and publicised example. And this all also impacted on the likes of experienced NCO's (which I recall was documented at the time).

So no wonder LAV crew training suffered (and unlike say Bosnia the decade before, the emphasis was less on needing such protected mobility therefore less of a priority in the overall scheme). And who to sheet the blame home to? How about the poiticians for not learning lessons from ET (unlike the ADF which was boosted in terms of soldiers and naval capacity etc).

Anyway all somewhat moot as that was in the past. Fast forward to today, DCP19 signaled the pollies (with the help of DefMin Ron Mark, former soldier) appeared to have finally learnt the lessons of the past and sanctioned a plan to raise Army personnel numbers by 22%. And that's not by growing the Army to raise a third battalion (a worthy but separate subject for discussion and debate) but to ensure the current structure is filled and presumably to allow for new capabilities (such as Networked Enabled Army etc).

The only questions I have (and haven't figured out yet via research) is related to exactly where the increased numbers will go to and the timeframes. The end date is supposedly 2035 (and I think there is a 2030 mid-point but I could be wrong).

However as to today in the latest Army News they outline a 4 year Army regeneration plan to get things back on track ("Phase 1: Warfighting Function Regeneration (Jul 22 – Jun 24) and Phase 2: Combined Arms (Combat Team-Battlegroup) Regeneration (Jul 24 – Jun 26)"), so that's a start.

As for the LAV situation again and the ones recently sold, I figure they weren't kept on as the plans to sell them long pre-date the more recent Army expansion plan (DCP19). DCP19 also signals the Army requiring additional vehicles as the Army expansion progresses in the later part of this decade (but doesn't get into specifics, this early in the plan, which makes sense as future options are yet to be explored).

However what we do know is that the current LAV's are to be upgraded or replaced around 2026. Interesting that DCP19 now uses the term "replaced" (rather than "upgraded"). And at this point in time who knows what is envisaged eg IFV or reconnaissance variants for QAMR? For the battalions? The DCP19 budget is rather limited suggesting they could be for QAMR and "motorising" the battalions is not the current plan, however could that change a la the Ukraine experience? Or could we see more protected Bushmaster types for the infantry etc?

One final thought on attritrition and war stock reserves. If this is to be deemed important and if the pollies and bean counters could be swayed (and make allowances in the areas of capital charges and the need for a budget to maintain vehicles and upgrade parts/software), well then should there be lobbying to keep the 80-odd remaining LAV's in reserve as their replacements start rolling in? Like I say it will cost money to keep them functional even if sitting in a garage and require some personnel that can both maintain its systems (Shane alluded to some parts reaching EOL) and train others on how to operate them if the need arises. This of course is a bean counters nightmare (and the NZDF's too if they are not adequately funded and resourced to do so) but if the geo-political situation warrants it, perhaps it is something which just has to be budgeted for?
East Timor pre-dated NZLAV, we had M113s in ET. Ironically when I joined Timor had not started and before that there was actually a big lull in operations and it had the opposite effect, people were leaving out of lack of anything to do and not perceived as "doing the job they signed up for". TBF people join to do ops, combat trades especially, in fact one of the reasons I eventually tapped out as I had seen the last few big ops wind up and knew there would be another lull in overseas trips on offer, out of necessity more than anything. Under utilised has the same detrimental effect on a professional force as overworked in my experience, it all ebbs and flows. All this talk of re-gen and renewal happens every time we complete a major deployment cycle and just means we now have time and more importantly numbers to get back into core basics, signing off critical training and catching up on developmental courses, excersises and consolidation, all requirements for progression and growth (figuratively and literally). Banes of a small army, high tempo affects everyone.

Gunners were used as infantry in ET and Afghan due to again, lack of numbers. They had to be in ET as the rule of 3s is a hard concept to achieve with only 2 infantry battalions and then Afghan to take pressure off understrength infantry companies, prevent burn out and allow for re-gen (and tbh were/when else would nz artillery deploy operationally in numbers otherwise? Win win for all involved). Its all a numbers game and just like police numbers govt can make all the claims, plans and theories they want but if they can't get boots on ground, bums in seats and people in the know (and keep them there) then it's all empty promises, a bit like the fabled SOPV, sounds good on paper but then reality kicks in. I guess the intention is there so that's at least something, but we just continue to come up short everytime? To put into perspective the military is actually alot smaller then when I first joined and this was a few expansion talks ago now. We've modernised a great deal but somehow shrunk a good deal as well, not a great trade off imo.

And as for the 22 sold LAV, again, about time and I would rather see 22 more bushmasters take their place, not in a warehouse down in Trentham but with more user units throughout NZDF.
 
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Rob c

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
By who? When the s--t hits the fan as you say it's going to be all hands on deck to use what we have and we will need all that we currently do have just to fill current shortages to do the bare minimum. So now we are suggesting essentially parking up even more LAV and diverting experienced crews away from, as you say defending NZ, to run courses to train up quick fire (literally) LAV crews? What other corps will this theory work for when "the s--t" hits the fan considering alot of units are already understrength running at 50-70% manning in technical trades (again armoured and infantry are different roles, for a reason)? As I said being such a small army in such a small country (a whole other factor I wont even get into) will require all hands on deck from day 1 just to do the job required unless of course we are given a heads up pre invasion to get some training in down in the QA carpark. Handing over a NZLAV is alittle different to giving out stored steyrs, 10 mags and giving a quick soldiers five. Even the Brits have taken Ukranians to the UK to conduct conversion courses on mastiffs and jackals, which are by comparison actually simple vehicle systems. If you think NZ will have anytime to do any of that with the limited resources, reserves and even quick fire re-enlistments we do have "when the s--t hits the fan" then you are either seriously underestimating the size and depth of our military to begin with or any advance warning an invading force will give us beforehand, but the sentiments nice.

Much like our regular force our reserves have dropped off quite markedly and they are literally now more aimed at filling the gaps we have now rather than bolstering the numbers we will need, as bad as it sounds, replaced. I have no doubt that people will come out of the treeline and take up arms but even that will require some level of training to be ultimately effective. The reason nations are sending in like tanks and AFVs, jets etc is because Ukranian military (as in already serving) are already familiar, trained and can support these types ASAP, keyword already, otherwise if they had time for training then more improved (and arguably survivable) systems like M1 Abrams, Warriors and F-16s etc would have been sent in at the start for them to use.
As I spent 20 years in the military I fully understand the the training needs for any capability to be totally functionable, though as it is a long time since I was a serving member I don't currently know to what levels training is taken to today. When I was serving my training was very extensive and I had training in areas that I never used while I was serving(but made good use of in civvy street afterwards).
If the training is still to the same level, then in a threatening environment it could be significantly shortened, and still achieve a say 90% effectiveness.
The big problem we continue to have is that the armed forces are not funded to achieve the ability that is prescribed for them to achieve and the personnel have had over the years large cuts in their terms of service, for which there has never been an increase in salaries to compensate for those cuts in their terms of employment.
The big problem that is stopping us achieving a satisfactory defence force that can defend us even for a limited period of time is the over commercialization of the management of the defence force not least the government charge. Treating defence as a business has lead to the problem that it now can not defend anything much at all.
So perhaps we should stop calling it a defence force if it cannot defend anything,
As to the Ukrainian situation, I agree that the initial equipment sent should have been what they are use to, but we are seeing the gradual introduction of modern western equipment of increasing complexity as time goes on and the training of a cadre of experienced personnel being being trained in outside countries to operate this equipment. I would hope that if this war continues that this trend will continue and maybe there might already be some ukrainians training on more complex items such as the M1 or F16. I would think that experienced tank operators would be able to transition in a matter of weeks as they would familiar with tank operations, but would have to learn how to achieve the same result with different equipment. My own experience is that while at that time it took me just under 4 years to become a fully qualified aircraft tradesman , it took a 4 week type conversion course when changing from one type to another, even though they often came from a different country.
If you think that I OVERESTIMATE what our military can do, then I would refresh your memory as to what I said in my last post witch was that "they would struggle to defend Great Barrier island".
As I have consistently said before the primary role of any defence force is to protect their countries sovereignty and freedom and ours have been stripped of that ability. Back in the mid 1990's they at least could provide some deterrence but this has since been deleted.
 
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Rob c

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
And as for the 22 sold LAV, again, about time and I would rather see 22 more bushmasters take their place, not in a warehouse down in Trentham but with more user units throughout NZDF.
That's not the way it works, the money will go straight back to the consolidated fund for general government use. Once something is sold, it is gone for good because the government is the legal owner, not the defence force, hence the government charge for using it, deducted from the defence budget. The only thing in this sale for the defence force is a reduction, "small", of the government charge.
 

RegR

Well-Known Member
As I spent 20 years in the military I fully understand the the training needs for any capability to be totally functionable, though as it is a long time since I was a serving member I don't currently know to what levels training is taken to today. When I was serving my training was very extensive and I had training in areas that I never used while I was serving(but made good use of in civvy street afterwards).
If the training is still to the same level, then in a threatening environment it could be significantly shortened, and still achieve a say 90% effectiveness.
The big problem we continue to have is that the armed forces are not funded to achieve the ability that is prescribed for them to achieve and the personnel have had over the years large cuts in their terms of service, for which there has never been an increase in salaries to compensate for those cuts in their terms of employment.
The big problem that is stopping us achieving a satisfactory defence force that can defend us even for a limited period of time is the over commercialization of the management of the defence force not least the government charge. Treating defence as a business has lead to the problem that it now can not defend anything much at all.
So perhaps we should stop calling it a defence force if it cannot defend anything,
As to the Ukrainian situation, I agree that the initial equipment sent should have been what they are use to, but we are seeing the gradual introduction of modern western equipment of increasing complexity as time goes on and the training of a cadre of experienced personnel being being trained in outside countries to operate this equipment. I would hope that if this war continues that this trend will continue and maybe there might already be some ukrainians training on more complex items such as the M1 or F16. I would think that experienced tank operators would be able to transition in a matter of weeks as they would familiar with tank operations, but would have to learn how to achieve the same result with different equipment. My own experience is that while at that time it took me just under 4 years to become a fully qualified aircraft tradesman , it took a 4 week type conversion course when changing from one type to another, even though they often came from a different country.
If you think that I OVERESTIMATE what our military can do, then I would refresh your memory as to what I said in my last post witch was that "they would struggle to defend Great Barrier island".
What we do have is very well trained, some of the best in the world and yes that takes time, but that only stretches so thin.

TBH I doubt we would even have a few weeks to go off and train as the trades will be too busy doing their core role, what they trained for. Infantry, Armoured, logistics, air, navy will be doing their jobs not re-roleing at the outset of war, and the way things are even they will be short and in huge demand just trying to operate within their own skillsets with their own equipment, reserves plugging those gaps so any extra will have to be freshies with hopefully a few old dogs to speed up the process, point being it will still be a process and to be brutally honest I doubt we would be able to hold out as long as Ukraine as it is a big beast in terms of mass for even the mighty Russia to subdue, as is being shown. Anyone with the ability to get all the way down here to invade will obviously have a gameplan and I doubt they will give us prep time as it is, so they will then obviously have the capability to match. All I'm saying is what we have is literally what we have and the vital component is manpower, trained and experienced manpower, which we just cannot seem to maintain in any decent viable numbers no matter how hard, DF, recruiters and govt try.
 
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