New Zealand Defence Force

Kaikoura Earthquake: Defence Force Update

FOREIGN WARSHIPS ARRIVE TO HELP KAIKOURA

Warships from Australia, Canada and the United States, with about 660 sailors and four helicopters between them, are in Kaikoura to support the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) disaster relief operation.

“The ships, crews and maritime helicopters provided by our partner militaries have given us a great deal of flexibility in supporting the national relief effort,” Major General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said.

“They could assist in the clean-up, movement of vital aid supplies and in conducting welfare checks in communities affected by Monday’s earthquake.”

MAJGEN Gall said poor weather conditions, further cracks on the road and risks of further landslides halted a convoy of 27 Defence Force trucks that left Burnham Military Camp before midday, carrying vital aid supplies for quake-damaged communities in North Canterbury.

Another survey will be conducted before the convoy is allowed to proceed to Kaikoura, he said.

The convoy was earlier given the green light to move after Army engineers completed a reconnaissance of the Waiau to Kaikoura route this morning. Massive slips caused by Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake cut off land access to Kaikoura.   Read more »

Chief of Defence Force to visit Fiji

The NZDF has issued a press release about the visit to Fiji of the Chief of Defence:

The Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General (LTGEN) Tim Keating, is in Fiji today and tomorrow holding a counterpart visit with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

“The visit is an opportunity for me to hear first hand what Fiji’s defence priorities are and to discuss defence and security co-operation opportunities,” says LTGEN Keating.

“I will also be interested to hear how Fiji’s recovery and rebuild is progressing following the devastating Tropical Cyclone Winston.”

The New Zealand Defence Force was heavily involved in the response to the cyclone earlier this year, sending our biggest peacetime deployment to the Pacific, involving ships, aircraft and over 500 defence personnel to aid with the response effort.   Read more »

Queens Honours for training Iraqis? Pull the other one

If you believe this story then I have a bridge I can sell you.

There is no way that our soldiers in a camp with thousands of armed soldiers from many different nations are at all worried about a few goat shaggers in black get up knowing who they are.

Fear of Islamic jihadists has forced the New Zealand Defence Force to keep its military heroes secret for a second year running.

Two soldiers have received a Distinguished Service Decoration in the latest Queen’s Birthday Honours list, but have been announced only as soldiers C and J.

The soldiers were working to help train members of the Iraq army.

A Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet spokesperson said the identities had been withheld for security reasons.

In April of last year the army said all personnel serving in Iraq would have their identities kept secret.   Read more »

New Battle Training Facility for SAS

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) new Battle Training Facility (BTF) was officially opened today by the Prime Minister, Rt Honourable John Key at a ceremony in Auckland. The BTF includes facilities for all-weather training, live firing, use of helicopters, and scenario training based on specific environments and structures such as, aircraft fuselages, ship’s bridges, and public transport.

Photo/ Supplied NZDF

The Army has opened their new Battle Training Facility for the SAS.

The New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) new Battle Training Facility (BTF) was officially opened today by the Prime Minister, Rt Honourable John Key at a ceremony in Auckland.

The $46 million modern purpose-built facility in Ardmore took two years to build and replaces outdated and obsolete training facilities for Special Air Service (SAS) personnel in Papakura.

It includes facilities for all-weather training, live firing, use of helicopters, and scenario training based on specific environments and structures such as, aircraft fuselages, ship’s bridges, and public transport.

In the previous facilities SAS personnel could not fire their primary operational weapons, however the new BTF allows for live firing and up to advanced full-mission rehearsals.   Read more »

Army’s new rifles approved [VIDEO]

The Army has released a sneak preview of the Army’s new AR platform rifle.

It looks like the configuration for the LMT CQB16 model. I’ve asked Defence, and so have TFB, but they are unwilling to tell us the precise model.

The Firearms Blog has some additional details:

Recently, the New Zealand Defence Force selected Lewis Machine & Tool Company to be the supplier of rifles to replace their aging Austrian-designed Steyr AUG bullpups. The exact model of rifle was not revealed in the press release regarding LMT’s selection, but those who speculated that it would be that company’s CQB16 model were soon proven correct. However, we have not seen the exact configuration of these rifles… Until the NZDF released the video [above]…   Read more »

NZDF replaces Sig Sauer pistols with the Glock 17

glock_17_l4

I used to own a Glock 17, it was my favourite pistol, so I am pleased to see the NZDF has decided to deploy them.

They are replacing the Sig Sauer P226 pistols currently in use, which are good pistols too I might add.

New pistols are being supplied to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

The Glock 17 pistols will be introduced into service across the Navy, Army, and Air Force in the second half of 2016 to replace the Sig Sauer sidearms that had been used since 1992.

“Ensuring we remain a force equipped to succeed means supplying our people with fit-for-purpose personal protection weapons,” Lieutenant Colonel Dean Paul said.

“This is part of our 2020 strategy for enhanced combat capability and we are pleased to be rolling out the new pistols next year.”

Read more »

Brownlee MIA when it comes to NZSAS

Gerry Brownlee in Iraq

DEFENCE MINISTER Gerry Brownlee hasn’t made a single visit to the Army’s special unit forces base at Papakura since being appointed to the role nearly a year ago.

It’s an astonishing revelation, according to Labour’s defence spokesman Phil Goff, who says he would have thought a visit to the Papakura military camp would have been top of Brownlee’s priority list given the NZSAS were the premier combat unit of the New Zealand Defence Force.

The NZSAS was accorded Regimental status in 2013 and presently has the responsibility of conducting domestic Counter-Terrorism operations, overseas Special Operations missions and performing the disposal of chemical, biological, radioactive and improvised explosive devices for both the military and civilian authorities.

But it appears Brownlee, who was appointed Defence Minister in October last year, has little interest in any of the work being carried out here.    Read more »

And what exactly has Chucky Windsor done for us to deserve these honours?

Prince Charles did make a good speech at Gallipoli…it surprised me, but I have no idea why we are conferring honorary Defence Force positions on him.

Prince Charles has been appointed to three honorary positions in the New Zealand Defence Force.

Prime Minister John Key said today that Queen Elizabeth had approved the Prince of Wales’ appointments.

The honorary positions are Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy, New Zealand Army Field Marshal, and Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

Mr Key said the honorary titles recognised Prince Charles’ strong support for the NZDF.   Read more »

Defence force trainers settled into Taji

Photo/ Supplied

Photo/ Supplied NZDF

The NZ Defence Forces have confirmed the troops are in Camp Taji and commenced their training operations.

New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) trainers and supporting Force elements are now established in their base in Taji and have begun the task of training Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in a range of military skills to help in the fight against ISIS.

This week, the combined New Zealand-Australia Building Partner Capacity mission officially took over the training of ISF personnel rotating through the Taji Military Complex, previously carried out by a US Army unit.

The training focuses on basic operational skills such as planning, weapons training, basic manoeuvres and the profession of arms.    Read more »

Not sure if I appreciate this stunt by Key

Prime Minister John Key is under fire from his opponents for disclosing Kiwi troops were in Dubai on their way to Iraq after the Defence Force had previously kept a lid on their movements for security reasons.

Key has also been slated for telling Dubai media about the troop movements when the Government appeared to have a deliberate policy of keeping its domestic audience in New Zealand in the dark.

In an interview with a local Dubai paper, Key confirmed some of the 143 personnel joining the fight against Islamic State are in the Gulf State but when questioned over his failure to disclose that to New Zealand media said that was because he considered it was “not newsworthy”.

Asked on Wednesday to confirm the information, NZDF would only say that personnel had been travelling to the Middle East in advance of deploying into Iraq but would not go into further detail.

“We have been very clear that for reasons of operational security and in order to keep our soldiers as safe as possible, we won’t be going into detail on travel arrangements We intend to let the public know when the full contingent is safely deployed,” NZDF said in a statement.

When quizzed by New Zealand journalists in Riyadh on Wednesday, Key was vague. He said the troops were “transiting” but couldn’t say exactly for how long.

There is only one reason Key would have done this:  to throw a circuit breaker on the ponytail story.  With McCready entering the fray, and TV3 and the NZME media stable driving ponytail coverage daily, he needed a distraction for the media.   And so he did…

But I’m not sure putting our troops at potential risk was the smart way to go.   Read more »