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New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF)

The mission for the New Zealand Defence Force [Te Ope Kaatua o Aotearoa] is "to secure New Zealand against external threat, to protect our sovereign interests, including the Exclusive Economic Zone, and to take action to meet likely contingencies in New Zealand's area of strategic interest". The NZDF is an equal partnership of three separate and distinct Services comprising Service personnel and civilians. The Defence Force has the task of delivering capabilities that meet the objectives of the New Zealand government's 'Defence Policy Framework' (June 2000). Priorities for change within Defence are included in the government's Defence Statement - a "Modern Sustainable Defence Force Matched to New Zealand's Needs" (May 2001). This has been further enhanced through Government decisions aimed at achieving a joint Defence Force focusing on single Services and joint interaction with the Ministry of Defence. Priorities for the acquiring Defence equipment are contained in the Defence Long-Term Development Plan (Update June 2003) and set a path for developing the capabilities of the Navy, Army and Air Force.

The way ahead will focus on building a Defence Force that is united, professionally trained, competent, appropriately equipped and capable of serving the interests of New Zealand, confronting the security challenges of the future, and meeting the requirements of the New Zealand Government. The key concepts that underpin the development of the NZDF rest around: the intent to become a tailored joint force that is multi-mission capable and shaped to contribute joint effects across the full spectrum of operational tasks. The tailored joint force will be a network force that will work seamlessly with, and be supported by, broader agency or coalition networks. The development of a knowledge edge that builds and sustains the knowledge advantage of our people will mean the difference between success and failure.

Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand (HQ JFNZ) was established at Trentham on 01 July 2001 to support the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand (COMJFNZ) in his command of assigned forces. These forces essentially include all deployable NZDF Force Elements. COMJFNZ is responsible to CDF for operational-level command and control of all joint and/or combined (international) operations and exercises. In practice, this means virtually all NZDF operations and major exercises. The Headquarters also supports COMJFNZ and the three component commanders in the planning for, and command and conduct of, various tactical-level operations and exercises. This especially concerns activities by RNZN and RNZAF elements where there is often no intermediate tactical-level headquarters between HQ JFNZ and individual Force Elements.

The Service Chiefs of Staff continue to command their own Services in their primary role of raising, training and sustaining their Service. In effect, the Chiefs of Staff are responsible for generating and sustaining NZDF military capabilities and COMJFNZ is responsible for employing such capabilities on operations (and major exercises).

The three single-Service component commanders: the Maritime Component Commander (MCC), the Land Component Commander (LCC), and the Air Component Commander (ACC), are responsible to COMJFNZ, and their respective Service Chiefs, for generation and sustainment of that Service's capabilities. This particularly includes bringing assigned forces to their Directed Level of Capability (DLOC). The component commanders also play an important part in planning and supervising NZDF operations and collective training - through their high-level advice to COMJFNZ and HQ JFNZ staff, their input to headquarters planning processes, and their technical control of operational standards, safety, doctrine and preparedness reporting.

As well as supervising the conduct of operations and exercises, the headquarters undertakes operational-level contingency planning and implements the NZDF exercise and activity program.



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