Extract from the report of the Naval Board of the Defence Council for period 1 April 1975 to 31 March 1976
Since the National Government last held office in 1972, considerable changes have occurred in the international scene. A new balance of power has been struck in the Indo-China peninsula. The ASEAN group have moved further towards strengthening their association. United States and British involvement in South-east Asia has continued to lessen: SEATO is being dismantled and the American military presence in Thailand withdrawn; the last British forces have gone from Singapore. The effects of these changes on the strategic situation in the region will obviously have to be followed carefully in the years ahead.
At the same time, there has been, in the past year, further evidence of the instability of the general international situation, the most striking example being the Soviet-Cuban intervention in Angola. The continued significant presence of Soviet seapower in the Indian Ocean and elsewhere; the as yet barely controlled nuclear arms competition; the problems that have arisen in the NATO Alliance; the growing Soviet-Chinese rivalry in South-east Asia; the latent dangers inherent in over-population, nationalism, and mounting pressure on the world’s resources: these all offer potential threats to international stability and indirectly to the security of this country. It is essential that we continue, with our friends, to ensure that adequate measures are taken for the defence of the South-west Pacific area and of the trade routes on which we depend.
New Zealand’s defence policy must be realistic. It must take careful account of both our resources and our possible defence requirements, as far as these can be discerned in the uncertain future. The general philosophy behind our approach to defence was set out in the 1972 White Paper, and it remains valid today. In the Government’s view, the only effective basis for New Zealand’s defence, now as in the past, is collective security with likeminded nations. Armed neutrality would not offer a viable alternative: it would require much greater sacrifice than we make at present for defence-New Zealand, for example, devoted 4.1 percent of its Budget to defence in 1975, compared with 10.5 percent and 19.5 percent for the neutral states of Sweden and Switzerland (which has no maritime responsibilities) respectively-and provide less effective defence than we have at present. Nor would unarmed neutrality offer any real prospect of security to a country so small, isolated, or dependent on overseas trade as New Zealand.
The keystone of our defence policy is the ANZUS Treaty, under which we have the assurance of support, if necessary, not only from our closest neighbour but also from one of the world’s two great powers -a consideration which grows more important with the expansion of Soviet military power in general and sea power in particular. We fully accept that membership of the ANZUS Alliance entails both rights and obligations. Unlike the previous Government, we consider the idea of a nuclear free zone in the South Pacific to be not only impracticable in today’s world, but unrealistic insofar as it could hinder the provision of the defence assistance upon which we would depend in a major emergency.
The major changes in the situation in South-east Asia have, if anything, deepened our concern for the stability of the region. The forward defence policy of the 1950s and 1960s is no longer relevant to current conditions, but we see no reason for a precipitate return of our force from Singapore so long as its presence there is welcomed by the governments concerned. We will continue to build on the present level of bilateral defence co-operation to the mutual benefit of nations of both South-east Asia and the South-west Pacific and ourselves.
Since taking office last December, I have visited most defence establishments in New Zealand and have again been impressed by the skill and dedication with which our servicemen approach their various tasks. They are, in fact, our primary defence asset-an asset the proven value of which has been evident in the past, would be demonstrated in any future emergency or international call for their services and which provides a steady return in the many activities that they undertake in support of the community in peacetime. That asset has, however, suffered considerable depreciation during the year under review, as the result of severe restraints which were introduced to achieve savings in foreign exchange and to keep defence expenditure within appropriation: no new capital equipment programme was approved last year, overseas exercises were curtailed, fuel and ammunition consumption and flying hours were drastically reduced, the fleet programme curtailed, and defence activity and stock levels generally reduced. These short-term savings were achieved at the expense of the readiness and efficiency of our armed forces, with serious consequences for morale. We still face acute economic difficulties and it is vital that Government expenditure should be restrained in all fields, including defence. Nevertheless, it will be my aim to ensure that these restraints do not further undermine the effectiveness of the armed forces. Defence expenditure, both in real terms and as a proportion of Government spending, has fallen steadily over the years. In the past, the effects of this reduction in real expenditure have been partly offset by improved defence management, which has cut overheads, and by reduced manpower and activity levels.
We face three inter-related problems in providing an effective defence capacity: firstly, we must come to grips with the re-equipment of our forces to meet the requirements of the 1980s and beyond; secondly, we must ensure that we maintain an adequate level and balance of manpower and professionalism in our services; and, finally, we must improve service accommodation and conditions of service as a means of encouraging retention and maintaining recruitment, thereby improving the proficiency of our personnel. It is essential that we tackle all these problems together and without delay. To delay on any front could have serious implications for the whole defence structure: resources will not be effectively used, and there will be a serious risk that the sense of purpose, dedication, and professional expertise of individual members of the armed forces will be undermined.
It is clear that implementation of the Government’s election pledge to provide effective armed forces in these terms cannot be fully achieved while the current economic situation continues. It nevertheless remains the Government’s objective that our defence forces should be adequate to meet our national and international obligations and responsibilities; and. it is to this objective that we shall be directing our efforts in the coming years.
Minister of Defence.
THE ROLE OF THE ARMED FORCES IN THE FURTHERANCE OF GOVERNMENT POLICY
Five Power Defence Arrangements
New Zealand continues to give its support to the Five Power Defence Arrangements involving Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. This partnership, which became effective in 1971, aims at fostering co-operation and confidence in the area. By their participation Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom declare their support for the maintenance of regional stability, the preservation of national integrity, and the political independence of Malaysia and Singapore.
During 1973 Australia withdrew its ground forces from Singapore, though two RAAF Mirage squadrons continue to be based in Malaysia. The United Kingdom has now followed by withdrawing all of its forces from Singapore. These changes have necessitated the progressive modification of arrangements for support of the New Zealand Force Southeast Asia. All changes have now been completed, with New Zealand and Australia continuing to provide mutual support in the area wherever possible.
Notwithstanding the withdrawal of Australian ground forces and all British forces from Singapore, each nation retains its commitment to the Five Power Defence arrangements. All will continue contributing to the Integrated Air Defence System which is based in Malaysia and remains in being.
The New Zealand Force South-east Asia continues to be stationed in Singapore where it is intended it should remain so long as this is in the mutual interest and is welcomed by all parties in the arrangement.
The ANZUS Treaty, providing New Zealand with a guarantee of American and Australian assistance in the event of direct external attack, remains a key element in New Zealand’s defence policy. During the period, the ANZUS partners have co-operated in a number of exercises and training activities with the aim of preserving and extending their ability to work together efficiently. During February 1976 Exercise TRIAD, the first ANZUS land/air exercise to be held in New Zealand, was mounted in the North Island.
New Zealand has continued to support the scaled down activities of SEATO which have been in force since 1973. In February this year New Zealand participated in a military civic action exercise in the Philippines and two prefabricated school buildings were constructed on Luzon as part of New Zealand’s contribution.
The two regional members of SEATO, the Philippines and Thailand, have recently indicated their agreement that the organisation should now be phased out completely. Following the SEA TO Council’s subsequent formal decision to this effect, planning is now in hand to ensure that the dismantling process is conducted in an orderly and systematic manner.
Co-operation with Australia in Defence Supply
Although Australian and New Zealand defence ministers and officials have not met since 1974, working groups established under the 1969 Memorandum of Understanding have continued to meet at approximately 3-monthly intervals. Each group acts as a forum in the channelling and exchange of information, and New Zealand’s effort has been directed to increasing local industry’s capability and expertise in defence production and quality-control. Some difficulties have resulted from the tendency of Australian-New Zealand defence production activity to slow down over the past 12 months, possibly because of the financial restraints that have been imposed on new policy production programmes. Nevertheless, discussions at a prime ministerial level at Rotorua in March 1976 have laid the basis for an extension of reciprocal activities under the Memorandum of Understanding.
Delivery of the New Zealand -manufactured CT4 Air Trainer aircraft for the RAAF has been in accordance with programmed requirements and the contract for 37 aircraft has been fulfilled. Although orders continue to be placed with New Zealand firms for the manufacture of NOMAD aircraft components for the current production line, the future outlook is uncertain, being dependent on commercial sales of this aircraft. Interest has also been expressed by firms wishing to respond to tenders which the RAN intend$ to call for 12-m harbour work boats and swimmer detection sonar. Arrangements continue for the repair and overhaul in New Zealand of fuel dump valves for RAN Skyhawk aircraft and similar arrangements for constant-speed drive units are expected to commence in May 1976.
Mutual Assistance Programme
The Mutual Assistance Programme identifies expenditure incurred in maintaining bilateral defence relationship$ with ASEAN countries and Fiji, Tonga, and Papua New Guinea. The objective of the programme, formally set up in 1973 but reflecting relationships established many years earlier, is to assist the countries concerned in improving the capability of their armed forces, and at the same time to provide New Zealand with training experience and deployment opportunities in those countries. Assistance provided includes training in New Zealand, secondments and attachments of service personnel from and to the countries concerned, visits by senior defence staff to New Zealand, and the supply of stores and equipment. Our defence relations with Thailand and the Philippines have hitherto been conducted in a SEATO context, but with the phasing out of that organisation discussions are to be held with those countries on the continuation of our association within the Mutual Assistance Programme. Examples of assistance provided under this programme are set out below.
A company of 140 all ranks from the 6th Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment, trained in the South Island and at Waiouru with 2nd/1st Battalion RNZIR during March-April 1975. A further 36 Malaysian Army personnel underwent individual instruction at Army schools. Several RMN personnel completed radio-electrical mechanicians and advanced radio and signals courses, while RMAF pilots and navigators undertook flying training at RNZAF schools. RNZAF parachute training courses were taken by 17 Army personnel. Five New Zealand officers served on secondment or exchange in Malaysia and four Malaysian officers came to New Zealand on exchange duty.
A contingent of 120 all ranks trained with 2nd/1st Battalion RNZIR in the South Island during March-April 1976. One Singapore Army officer attended a course at the Parachute Support Unit and New Zealand Special Air Service Centre; and the RNZAF provided assistance in the fields of parachute training and aviation medicine/flight safety. The secondment of both RNZN and RNZAF personnel to the Singapore armed forces on loan as advisors and instructors has continued.
A mobile training team of six Army personnel from 1st Battalion RNZIR visited Indonesia in December to give instruction in small arms shooting. Six Indonesian officers attended the 1st Infantry Brigade Group and Logistic Support Group annual exercise as observers; and a further six are undergoing Army training. A team of four Indonesian officers visited New Zealand to study RNZAF training methods and aircraft maintenance organisation. Two Indonesian naval officers completed a 3-month attachment to HMNZ Dockyard for training associated with the upkeep of ships and dockyards management. The dental assistance programme with the Indonesian armed forces continued during the year, in co-operation with other Government departments.
The four Fijian cadets who commenced their apprenticeships in 1972 continued to be attached to units throughout New Zealand as part of their apprenticeship training cycle. Fifty members of the Royal Fiji Military Forces Employment and Training Unit undertook training with New Zealand units. In addition, 20 Fijian personnel attended courses at Army schools. An RNZE captain and two senior N.C.O.s on second-
ment are assisting with the establishment of a rural development unit, as part of which programme 23 Fijian personnel attended a I-year course at the School of Military Engineering (as members of the ETU). New Zealand has continued to provide an officer as Chief of Staff, RFMF and a senior N.C.O. as chief instructor at the RFMF Trade Training School. Assistance was also provided to the newly-formed RFMF naval squadron.
Two Tongan cadets who graduated from the Regular Force Cadet School in 1974 continued training at 1st Infantry Workshops in Papakura; and a Tongan officer cadet attended a course at the Army schools. A Tongan officer began an operational training attachment to the RNZN in January with the particular intention of providing him with experience in fisheries protection. Two other Tongan personnel are receiving instruction in diesel engine maintenance at HMNZS Tasman. New Zealand continues to provide an Army officer as Commander, Tonga Defence Force, and a sergeant vehicle mechanic.
Papua New Guinea
Two New Zealand officers are serving as instructors at the Joint Services College, Lae.
Bristol Freighter aircraft of No. 41 Squadron, operating from Tan Son Nhut airfield from 28 March to 21 April 1975, assisted in the evacuation of New Zealand nationals and the distribution of relief supplies. Three Hercules aircraft carried 92 000 lbs of relief aid from New Zealand and Singapore to Saigon for distribution.
The Atiu harbour project, carried out by 30 Army engineers with plant and equipment purchased with aid funds, was completed in July
1975. The harbour, which will allow produce to be taken by barge to off-shore vessels under most weather and tidal conditions, comprises a 333-ft breakwater, an 8-ft deep anchorage blown from the coral, and a 77-ft slipway. At the handover and official opening on 11 July 1975, the New Zealand Government was represented by the Minister of Defence, who was accompanied by the Chief of the General Staff.
Antarctic Research Programme
Two Hercules aircraft based at Christchurch from 24 November to 6 December 1975 flew 7 return flights to McMurdo Sound, transporting approximately 210 000 lb of personnel and equipment in support of the DSIR research programme. The Army continued to provide cargo handling teams and assistance with stores control to the US Naval Support Force Antarctica.
Special RNZAF flights were mounted to the United Kingdom, Iraq, the United States, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Niue, South Korea, Nepal, Bangladesh, and the Cook Islands. Tasks included the transport of VIPs and evacuees, emergency relief supplies, heavy agricultural machinery, cranes, embassy equipment and furniture, telecommunications equipment, a helicopter and light aircraft, and material for Parliament Buildings.
The three surveying motor launches Takapu, Tarapunga, and Paea, together with two shore-based surveying boats, were engaged in a resurvey of areas in the northern Hauraki Gulf which were dependent on old Admiralty lead-line surveys. An area from Kawau Island to Castor Bay was completed by February 1976 and operations are now centred on the western Coromandel Peninsula. Several uncharted features were found during the course of these surveys.
The Hydrographic Office published a new ocean chart (New Zealand to Fiji and Samoa Islands), a new harbour chart (Tauranga Harbour, Katikati Entrance to Mount Maunganui), and two new metric charts (Approaches to Auckland and Great Barrier Island to Mercury Bay). A new edition was published for Napier Road and Approaches and 28 other charts were revised and reprinted. The ninth new edition of the Chart Catalogue was also published. Forty thousand copies of weekly Notices to Mariners and 2200 copies of the Annual Summary were printed and distributed. A total of 57465 fully corrected charts and 5124 navigational books were issued for naval use or sold to the shipping industry and public.
During the year the RNZN was again actively involved in fisheries protection, in co-operation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, with whom liaison and communications have been improved. The operations of both foreign fishing vessels in New Zealand waters (230 as at 31 March 1976) and local fishermen have been monitored. Eight foreign fishing vessels were warned for infringing either New Zealand’s fishery zone or its territorial limits. The Navy’s fisheries protection capability was improved by the commissioning on 29 July 1975 of HMNZS Taupo and Hawea. Superior in both speed and sea-keeping qualities to the fisheries protection motor launches, the last of which were paid off in mid-1975, these new vessels, with Rotoiti and Pukaki, are able to patrol New Zealand’s fisheries more effectively and thereby deter potential offenders. RNZAF Shelly Bay at Wellington has proved an effective forward operating base for the new craft, since its location provides good access to the principal areas of foreign fishing activity off both coasts of the North and South Islands.
Search and Rescue
RNZAF aircraft flew 430 hours in support of nearly 100 search and rescue operations which safely recovered some 70 people. As in the past, all types of RNZAF aircraft were employed. Rescues by helicopter from mountain or remote locations were again numerous, 14 such missions accounting for 30 of those recovered. Oceanic SAR operations absorbed most of the RNZAF’s effort, including 5 searches for overdue aircraft, 10 for suspected emergency sea flares, and 11 for overdue boats. Almost a quarter of RNZAF SAR flying hours were devoted to the search for the missing yacht Veronica in September-the most extensive SAR operations by the RNZAF in many years-when an area of 200 000 nm2 was covered. The Army participated in 35 SAR operations, especially by the provision of manpower, equipment, rations, and vehicles, while the RNZN undertook 5 SAR operations. Like the RNZAF, the latter was heavily involved in the Veronica search.
Other Assistance to the Community
The Army undertook some 500 separate activities in support of the community, totalling some 5000 man days. The RNZAF flew 30 hours’ in assisting various non-government activities-a 75 percent reduction on the previous year’s total mainly because of restrictions on flying displays and demonstrations. Service activities in this field included’ explosive ordnance disposal; flights in support of town planning and
natural resources study groups; fire fighting assistance; medical assistance at many civil accidents; movement and donation of blood supplies; and instruction in aviation medicine. The Naval Operational Diving Team provided a rapid emergency service to civilian organisations, assisting the Police Department on eight occasions by searching for and recovering bodies, murder weapons, and lost or stolen property in the Auckland area. The recompression chamber was used four times to assist private divers. Training of Government department personnel continued. Lectures and displays have been given to schools and other organisations; and, as in the past, advice has been given to other Government departments. The RNZN continued to provide transport to outlying islands for other Government departments and civilian organisations carrying out scientific research or wildlife preservation activities.
THE IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW POLICY AFFECTING SERVICEMEN
The Defence Act 1971 was amended to broaden the powers of delegation by each chief of staff, and further progress was made on settling the shape of a common procedure for investigation and summary disposal of charges to be implemented under the Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971.
Conditions of Service
Economic restraints have forced the continued deferment of the planned review of armed forces pay and service conditions. It has been possible, nevertheless, to remove some minor anomalies: thus a professional allowance has been introduced for qualified legal officers in legal appointments in the armed forces to align their pay with their civil equivalents, and professional insurance expenses will be reimbursed. It is planned during 1976 to introduce a new open-ended engagement policy under which servicemen will not be required to commit themselves to fixed-term engagements. Terminal benefits would also be adjusted to provide incentives towards longer service. Leave policy will at the same time be adjusted to provide increased opportunities for accumulation of annual leave, primarily to enable servicemen at the end of their careers to take advantage of such civilian resettlement courses as may be available. Resettlement seminars continue to be held to assist long-,service servicemen make the transition from service to a civilian environment.
Re-establishment in Civil Life
Further reports of the Advisory Committee on Civil Trades Qualifications have been approved by Defence Council. Defence Trade Certificates for trades for which there are civil equivalents, but no formal qualifications, are being prepared in consultation with interested civil authorities. Proposals to restructure the RNZAF and RNZN technical trades have been approved in principle and the detailed work of syllabus amendment and liaison with the civil trade authorities is being undertaken. For the large number of trades with no civil equivalents, resettlement training policy is being developed in line with the recently approved engagement and leave policies.
DEFENCE MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION
Planning, Programming, and Budgeting
The planning, programming, and budgeting system has been further refined. The benefits accruing from the systematic approach to resource planning, allocation, and management were again clearly evident during the year under review.
Electronic Data Processing
With improvement of the capacity of the Defence computer, orderly development of management information systems can be introduced. As the development of planning, programming, budgeting proceeds in the Ministry, so the management information requirement will change, and forward planning is now under way to ensure the progressive, economical development of systems in line with the changing requirement.
New Defence Building
Work has continued on the Freyberg Building which is the first stage of a project designed to bring all branches of Defence Headquarters in Wellington together in the Mulgrave and Pipitea Streets area of the Government Centre. Discussions have been held with the Government Office Accommodation Board on stage n of the project.
ROUTINE OPERATIONS OVERSEAS AND IN NEW ZEALAND
During November-December 1975, ships of the RNZN and RAN participated in the annual submarine and weapon training exercise AUCKEX 75. Between 17-28 November, Exercise TASMANEX 75, the most ambitious exercise ever planned by New Zealand, took place in the Tasman Sea. Some 22 ships of the RNZN, RN, RAN, and United States Navy participated, along with 2 RAN submarines and aircraft of five air forces. HMNZS Canterbury, Taranaki, lnuerell, Pukaki, Rotoiti, Hawea, and Taupo were all involved, and the Commodore, Auckland, as Maritime Defence Commander, exercised command from a Maritime Headquarters established at RNZAF Base, Whenuapai. In February-March 1976, 542 New Zealand Army personnel from 1 Infantry Brigade Group joined 188 United States and 170 Australian personnel at Waiouru in Exercise TRIAD, the first ANZUS exercise hosted by New Zealand. The air forces of all three countries also took part. Designed to examine and test tactical concepts of attack and clearing operations in a counter-insurgency situation, the exercise allowed ANZUS forces to work together under joint command and control.
RNZAF and RNZN units also participated with the forces of other nations in maritime exercises overseas. HMNZS Canterbury and RNZAF aircraft, for example, represented New Zealand at Exercise VALIANT HERITAGE, a major anti-submarine warfare exercise off the west coast of the United States-the largest gathering of allied ships and aircraft in the Pacific since World War n. In June, HMNZS Waikato exercised with the Indonesian Navy off Surabaya-the first such co-operation between the two navies. These joint exercises require a high degree of professionalism and co-ordination from all participants; they provided valuable experience in the integration of forces with our friends and allies. RNZN frigates continue to use RAN facilities at Sydney for workup and weapon training to achieve operational readiness after major personnel changeovers.
A total of 23 naval vessels from Great Britain, Australia, and the United States visited New Zealand ports during the year.
HMNZS Canterbury carried out various training and other assignments in New Zealand waters until December, taking part in exercises TASMANEX 75 and AUCKEX 75. In September she visited Australia for a 4-week weapon training period. In February she joined a Royal Naval Task Group in northern Fijian waters and accompanied it to Pearl Harbour and San Diego to take part in the major maritime exercise FLEETEX 76.
HMNZS Waikato returned in mid-July from a 4-month assignment to New Zealand Force South-east Asia, during which she took part in exercises with British, Malaysian, Australian, and Indonesian forces. In October, she began her long refit, which is scheduled for completionIn March 1977.
HMNZS Otago completed her long refit in November and from then until March 1976 she carried out successful post refit trials. HMNZS Taranaki was again extensively deployed during the year, steaming 29861 miles and visiting 14 ports in 8 countries. She departed from New Zealand in May and returned to Auckland in October. During this period she worked up with the RAN Fleet Training Group and participated in JUCEX 94, before proceeding to Singapore. She subsequently visited Port Moresby (for the Papua New Guinea Independence Day celebrations), Honiara, and Suva during her return voyage to New Zealand. During November she visited Nuku’alofa for the celebration of the Centenary of the Tongan Constitution, before participating in TASMANEX 75. In 1976 she has completed an assisted maintenance period and carried out several assignments in local waters.
HMNZS Tui spent the first half of the year refitting and fitting new scientific equipment for forthcoming experiments. She was subsequently employed in the area between Auckland, Fiji, and Tonga in support of the Defence Scientific Establishment and Auckland University research programmes and a joint New Zealand -United States experiment. In July Tui was associated with the joint Soviet-American APOLLO SOYUZ satellite flights, making an oceanographic survey under one of the satellite orbits.
HMNZS lnverell has continued to carry out her dual roles of fisheries protection and training during the year. In the former capacity she carried out inshore and offshore patrols as far afield as the Chatham Islands.
During the year three separate contingents of 120 all ranks deployed to Singapore for 28 days for the purpose of exercising with 1st Battalion, 1 RNZIR. As part of the annual Tasman exchange, 60-strong contingents from the Queen Alexandra (WaikatojWellington East Coast) Squadron and 1 Ranger Squadron NZ SAS deployed to Australia in July-August and September respectively to participate in Australian exercises. Eight tropical training exercises were conducted in Fiji during the year, involving 707 New Zealand Army personnel. These exercises provided valuable jungle training and experience in a tropical environment for both Regular and Territorial Force soldiers. In March-April 1975 a rifle company from 6 Royal Malay Regiment visited New Zealand for 5 weeks to train and exercise with 2nd/1st Battalion RNZIR in Burnham and Waiouru and in March-April 1976 a Singapore company of 120 all ranks trained with the same unit in the South Island. During November 1975 a platoon group comprising 50 Regular and Territorial Force soldiers from Field Force units completed an exchange programme with 25th United States Infantry Division in Hawaii. At the same time a 50-strong United States Army platoon trained in New Zealand.
Command post exercises and indoor study weekends were conducted throughout the year by the headquarters and formations of Field Force Command. Command and control problems related to “The Defence” phase of war were studied and practised. During January 1976 1st Infantry Brigade Group and the Logistic Support Group camped at Waiouru and Tangimoana respectively. 3rd Infantry Brigade Group camped at Tekapo during February 1976.
Two civil defence exercises were conducted during the year.
No. 1 Squadron, equipped with Bristol Freighter aircraft and based at Whenuapai, maintained the scheduled air transport service in conjunction with 42 Squadron, and provided support for No. 41 Squadron based in Singapore.
No. 3 Squadron, operating Iroquois and Sioux helicopters and based at Hobsonville, provided support to Army exercises both internally and overseas. The squadron was involved in a variety of tasks, including search and rescue, aid to the civil community, and assistance to other Government departments. Support of Wasp detachments aboard RNZN frigates was also maintained.
No. 5 Squadron, equipped with Orion aircraft and based at Whenuapai, continued regular surveillance flights over New Zealand’s area of maritime interest and provided a search and rescue coverage. The squadron also participated in joint exercises in Australia, Singapore, United States, and New Zealand practising anti-submarine warfare techniques and procedures.
No. 14 Squadron, equipped with Strikemasters and Harvard aircraft based at Ohakea, continued to provide conversion training to the strike role and forward air controller training on Harvards. Its activities were extended by the commencement of advanced flying training of pilots on Strikemasters, as part of a new pilot training pattern accommodating the Strikemaster and the Airtrainer, which is scheduled to replace the Harvard aircraft during the 1976-77 financial year.
No. 40 Squadron, equipped with Hercules aircraft and based at Whenuapai, provided long-range transport support to New Zealand forces in Singapore and carried out a wide range of tasks in South-east Asia and the Pacific. Tactical transport techniques were practised in Canada during Exercise BULLSEYE.
No. 41 Squadron, based at SAF Tengah and operating Bristol Freighters and Iroquois aircraft, provided active support to New Zealand Force South-east Asia and New Zealand Embassy tasks within the South-east Asian region.
No. 42 Squadron, equipped with Dakota aircraft and based at Ohakea, continued to provide communications support and VIP transport. Additionally, the squadron provided search and rescue and parachute training support.
No. 75 Squadron, equipped with Skyhawk aircraft and based at Ohakea, continued with role training throughout the year. As well as participating in the major naval and Army exercises, TASMANEX and TRIAD, the squadron also deployed to Singapore and Indonesia.
Regular Force Strengths
At 31 March 1976 the strength of the Regular Force was 12420 all ranks (a decrease of 250 on last year). This figure is made up as follows:
Although recruiting was generally buoyant for all three services, financial considerations required some reduction in recruiting activity throughout the year. The number of enlistments was a little lower, therefore, than might otherwise have been expected. Enlistments to the youth apprentices and women’s services categories were satisfactory in each service, but difficulties were again experienced in’ attracting sufficient applicants to the marine engineering artificer categories in the RNZN, the Army support trades, and the avionics trade groups in the RNZAF.
The Territorial Force continued to attract volunteers and 2118 enlistments were made during the period.
Under the premature release policy approved by Defence Council in October 1972, 77 officers and 719 other ranks were released, compared with 61 officers and 583 other ranks in 1973-74 and 67 officers and 635 other ranks in 1974-75.
During the year a total of 350 personnel attended courses in the United States, Australia, Britain, and Malaysia. As in the past, initial training for most Army officers was conducted in Australia, with 16 officer cadets beginning a I-year course at the Officer Cadet School, Portsea. A further five began 4-year degree courses at the Royal Military College, Duntroon. The planning of overseas courses for 1975-76 was aimed at providing the same level of training as in the previous year, which was no more than the minimum required to ensure operational efficiency in each of the services. The number of personnel serving on exchanges overseas was maintained at 16.
Training in New Zealand
In May a specialised Naval Training Group was established in Auckland to implement and co-ordinate training. Consisting of a small headquarters and the training establishments HMNZS Tamaki and Tasman (a new unit formed from the training department of HMNZS Philomel, which continues in its base support and barracks role), the Group’s main objective is to streamline naval training by the elimination of low priority training content, by greater emphasis on leadership and management training and by careful management of resources available for training. During the year 25 officers, 21 artificers and mechanicians, and 436 junior ratings in all RNZN categories completed the shore training phase of recruit and trade training. In addition, a total of 3475 personnel (including 7 Army, 7 RNZAF, 15 Police, 27 Royal Malaysian Navy, 3 Tonga Defence Force personnel, and 132 civilians) received advanced or refresher training in 344 separate courses. Pre-commissioning and command team training was also given to ships’ teams from Canterbury, Otago, Taranaki, Inverell, and Tui, and instructors from schools assisted with ship work-ups as required.
A total of 2105 Regular Force all ranks received training covering many specialist trade skills, specialist officer studies, university studies, civil technical training, and recruit training. Eighty-seven Army indentured tradesmen completed their apprenticeships. Three thousand and twenty-six Territorial Force all ranks underwent Army training during the year, with a further 622 receiving specialist instruction at Army schools, camps, and areas.
During the year 36 officers and 9 senior non-commissioned officers graduated from aircrew courses. Ten officers graduated as flying instructors and 2 navigators and 4 air electronics operators completed advanced courses. The period saw 19 newly commissioned officers and officer cadets graduate from officer training courses. Nineteen RNZAF and 1 RNZN students completed junior staff training and 7 RNZAF, 1 RNZN, 4 New Zealand Army and 1 Police officers graduated from the RNZAF Staff College. Of the 1975 university students, 7 completed their studies and 22 cadets qualified for further training. RNZAF schools conducted 100 ground training courses from which 925 personnel successfully completed training.
As in the past wide use was made of RNZAF facilities and expertise in providing training assistance to the aviation industry, aero clubs, and the Ministry of Transport. A total of 180 civilians attended 12 courses, which covered helicopter maintenance and aviation medicine.
Education and Welfare
While service education officers continue to provide academic and technical education to complement military training, there has been a further increase in the use of civilian education institutions for those courses which cannot be staged in service establishments or which would be uneconomic to duplicate. Considerable use has been made of the Correspondence School, the Technical Correspondence Institute, Massey University, and other institutions providing tertiary or continuing education. In addition to this education associated with training, personnel are encouraged and assisted either financially or by time off duty to undertake voluntary courses of study, in order to increase the level of their professional knowledge or to prepare for resettlement.
The Singapore schools for dependants of servicemen completed their first full year of operation under New Zealand control. The system provides for children ranging from new entrants to Fifth Form level. Facilities and tutoring are made available for children undertaking Sixth and Seventh Form study courses by correspondence. The Department of Education inspection reports were high in their praise of the standard of education being provided.
Welfare in Singapore and New Zealand continues to be provided to personnel and their dependants through the established welfare organisations in service establishments.
Sport continued to play an important role in service life during 1975. Inter-unit, inter-service, and combined service sport flourished, although combined service teams were in some instances far below full strength owing to provincial representative teams having first call on service players. Combined services sports teams participated in national championships in water polo, softball, hockey, and basketball. .The combined services hockey team visited Fiji where it competed against Australian and Fijian provincial teams in the Fiji Hedstrom Shield tournament.
The New Zealand team won the Hedstrom Shield, the first non-Fijian team to do so.
In spite of a written approach to selected medical practitioners, a number of medical officer vacancies still exist. Present shortfalls are being met by part-time civilian appointments, and, on occasions, by regular or non-regular medical officers on a short-term basis. Some other rank vacancies still exist in Navy and Air Force, particularly at the corporal/senior N.C.O. level, although with recruiting figures up for all three services the long-term situation is more hopeful. Plans and proposals for the reorganisation of Defence medical resources are about to be implemented and will resolve many longstanding uncertainties, provide a greater measure of professional satisfaction to regular career officers, and give a greater and more unified measure of technical control to the Director-General of Medical Services.
The Defence dental services were again fully staffed and well able to cope with commitments at home and overseas. A leading role is being played in developing improved methods of delivery of dental care and measures recently adopted have resulted in a significant improvement in the dental health of the Armed Forces. Complete coverage of all regular force personnel has been achieved and a vigorous preventive programme introduced. Non-regular personnel, although not entitled to routine dental treatment, are benefiting from a dental health education programme. In addition to the normal clinical responsibilities in New Zealand, dental coverage was also provided for all military personnel and their dependants in the Singapore area, under agency arrangements. The comprehensive programme of dental assistance to Indonesia has continued in co-operation with the Department of Health and the University of Otago Dental School.
A unified policy for chaplaincy in the Armed Services has been approved to facilitate the recruitment, training, and organisation of military chaplains. This policy should encourage ecclesiastical authorities to release clergy to the pastoral care of service personnel and their dependants. Expertise in the field of clinical pastoral education is being offered to military chaplains by interdenominational religious bodies to ensure that modern chaplaincy technique in the development of human relationships is available. In co-operation with other specialists, military chaplaincy will be able to offer a professional competence that will benefit personnel and their dependants in all counselling areas.
Personnel Research and Psychological Services
Psychological services continue to be provided in the fields of personnel selection and placement; aircrew, officer, and trade training; motivation and morale measurement; and general personnel management technology. Related research projects, including the OR retention project discussed below, are being carried out for all three services in accordance with a planned annual programme of work. The Defence Council has approved a reorganisation of all professional and support staff working in this area into a tri-service manned Defence Psychology Unit and this is in the process of implementation.
Work is continuing on the comprehensive study into the factors affecting other rank retention in the three services. Questionnaires involving over 90 percent of all serving OR personnel, both male and female, have been carried out and the data has been computer analysed. A report covering many aspects of Air Force life has been produced for the RNZAF and a similar document is now being completed for the New Zealand Army. It is expected that the reports for the RNZN and women’s services will be available by mid-1976. While as planned, further studies will be necessary to fully follow up the possible problem areas for retention, direct use is being made of the information now available for personnel management and is proving of considerable value.
Strengths of the non-Regular Forces are listed in table 1.
The four RNZNVR divisions were maintained at their previous strengths and there have been indications of a slightly increased interest in this branch of the Armed Forces. The annual RNZNVR exercise RESERVEX 76 was held in the Bay of Islands and Hauraki Gulf in January. Motor launches of all four divisions participated under the tactical command of HMNZS Inverell. RNZNVR personnel were also involved in a naval control and protection of merchant shipping exercise in February 1976.
The Territorial Force strength as at 31 March 1976 totalled 6171 all ranks. During the year 2118 have volunteered to serve in the Territorial Force and 1590 have been released. One thousand three hundred and one soldiers completed either 6 or 12 weeks voluntary recruit training.
The Territorial Force has been maintained to meet air traffic control appointments and to man the band of the RNZAF.
Conditional and limited assistance is provided to the Cadet Forces for the conduct of approved activities. The School Cadet Corps, which has diminished rapidly in recent years, now comprises only 20 units. Some of these units operate successfully but, with insufficient numbers of cadet officers and N.C.O.s provided by the schools, it has been difficult to maintain standards and it seems inevitable that participation will decline still further. The town units of the Sea Cadet Corps and Air Training Corps, however, are active, well attended by cadets, and fully staffed by cadet officers and N.C.O.s. Supplementing the Defence-sponsored cadet training programme the parent/supporter organisations, which focus community support, facilitate additional youth leadership, and recreational activities by town units. A further three town units are being formed at the request of the supporter organisation of the Air Training Corps. The usual programme of cadet training activities was provided during the year but on reduced scales. To contain expenditure on Cadet Forces matters within the prescribed level and meet the impact of increased costs, as well as absorb the additional costs associated with new town units, reductions in the useage of Defence resources were necessary. The strength of the Cadet Forces is as follows:
The numbers of permanent and temporary staff and casual civilian workers employed in the Ministry as at 31 March 1976 are shown in table 1 of this report. Generally recruiting has been good and staff strengths have been maintained up to or close to the authorised ceiling. HMNZ Dockyard is, however, still finding it difficult to recruit some specialist and trades staff. As a result, delays have occurred in the programmed refit of HMNZ ships. An increase in the staff ceiling would be desirable to enable the Defence Council policy of converting more military positions to civilian occupied posts to be implemented, but the difficulty of doing this in the present financial climate is acknowledged. The Ministry has continued to support the special employment scheme by engaging unemployed workers where suitable work is available on camp~ and bases.
The development of greater uniformity, standardisation, and commonality within the three services has been continued in the areas of supply systems and procedures. Decentralisation of some RNZAF supply staff from Wellington to Te Rapa has been achieved, further work has been done towards rationalising the supply responsibilities within Army, and progress has been made in bringing Naval records and E.D.P. recording into line with the other services.
In accordance with the policy of all services adopting a common supply language, defence material management systems are being further developed to provide more economic use and efficient management of stores and equipment. The progressive identification of supply items by use of the NATO Codification System has continued and the Defence Cataloguing. Authority has now so identified 150 000 items (or 30 percent of the total inventory). At the present rate of progress, approximately 75 percent of the main depot stocks in the services should have been identified by the end of the 1976-77 financial year. Capital Equipment All four 107-ft patrol craft constructed by Brooke Marine Ltd. have now been delivered to New Zealand and are in operational service.
The ship lift and servicing facility for the craft was completed in January 1976. The conversion of HMNZS Monowai, the replacement survey ship for HMNZS Lachlan, has commenced at the shipbuilding yards of Scott Lithgow Dry Docks in Scotland. This contract is due for completion early next year. To enable New Zealand Force South-east Asia to take over responsibility for various functions formerly provided by the United Kingdom and Australia, purchases of equipment from the now defunct ANZUK Force Singapore have been finalised and a further range of essential stores and equipment procured. Various items of surplus equipment from the ANZUK Force have also been purchased for use in New Zealand. The delivery of 163 AN /PRC 77 sets, as replacement v.h.f. radios for 3rd Infantry Brigade Group, will be completed early this year. The remainder of the additional six Strike-master aircraft were delivered during the year and a contract for the supply of 13 CT4 Airtrainers for the RNZAF was negotiated with New Zealand Aerospace Industries Ltd. Construction is now underway and the first aircraft should be delivered late in 1976. Two mortar
locating radar sets have been purchased for the New Zealand Army and are now being shipped to New Zealand. Support equipment for the sets will follow later in the year. Three Galion cranes, with a 10 ton lifting capacity, were purchased from the United States, assembled in New Zealand by the International Harvester Company and are now in service with the RNZAF. Contracts for bodybuilding on chassis purchased through the Departmental Motor Vehicles Committee have been finalised for 13 buses, 2 fire engines for the New Zealand Army, and three 2000 gallons refueller vehicles for the RNZAF.
HMNZ Dockyard continued to support operational ships, dock and refit the fleet, and provide assistance to the Naval Supply Depot through the repair and manufacture of stores. Staffing, particularly in some critical trades, has remained a problem. Work flow was adversely affected by the curtailment of overseas recruitment of tradesmen and the economic restraints placed upon the purchase of stores, with the result that completion dates for some major refitting work had to be extended. During the year HMNZS Otago’s second 7-yearly long refit was completed, and a similar refit of HMNZS Waikato was commenced. HMNZS Canterbury and M onowai were docked and essential defects rectified, and refits were carried out on HMNZS Tui, the RFA Tug Arataki, and the diving tender Manawanui. The four patrol craft were brought to operational readiness following their delivery from the United Kingdom. Refitting and maintenance of SDML’s of the Fisheries Protection Squadron, the Reserve Divisions, and survey vessels was carried out, as well as work for other Defence organisations and Government departments. Dockyard assistance was provided to ships from visiting navies, especially those involved in Exercise T ASMANEX. The Fleet Maintenance Unit has continued to repair and maintain seagoing units and shore establishments of the RNZN and visiting ships of allied nations. The increased size of the fleet, shortages in skilled staff, and the need for modifications to the newly-arrived patrol craft added substantially to the FMU’s workload during the year. The Naval Communications Station at Waiouru continues to operate on a worldwide basis.
Although aircraft servicing, structural repair and maintenance, and component repair and maintenance has been largely carried out in New Zealand facilities, either RNZAF or civil, a small, though significant, amount of this work has had to be undertaken overseas. A co-operative contract has been negotiated with the RAN for the overhaul in RNZAF facilities of naval aircraft items common to RNZAF inventories and a commencement is expected later this year. Difficulties in procuring all aeronautical spares continue to delay repairs to equipment, while manpower shortages were experienced at the producer and junior supervising tradesmen level. Fatigue cracking, corrosion, and failures of electronic equipment are causing an increasing burden of unexpected maintenance in older aircraft. A new RNZAF approach to maintenance now being developed should result in significant savings in the routine maintenance of aircraft. During the year some technical level training was provided to civil helicopter operators by RNZAF helicopter units.
Housing, Capital Works, and Maintenance
Recognition by the Government that living and working conditions for many service personnel were substandard has led to an increased allocation of funds for Defence works in recent years. Nevertheless, progress in improving these conditions has been impeded by the Ministry of Works and Development’s inability to devote sufficient resources either to design or construction. Moreover, the decision during the year to withdraw our forces from South-east Asia led to a diversion of effort from normal works activity in order to prepare the special supplementary programme required to meet the changed circumstances. In consequence, a larger than usual number of major capital works have not yet got beyond the initial design stage although their construction was programmed to commence during the 1975-76 financial year.
In spite of these problems, there has been encouraging progress in the works field generally. The Defence Council is determined to sustain this progress, while recognising that in the current financial climate some pruning of desired works programmes will be necessary. Continued emphasis will be given to achieving a more acceptable standard of living accommodation in camps and bases.
Capital works projects completed during the year have included the modernisation of barrack accommodation at HMNZS Philomel, RNZAF Auckland, and Te Rapa, a new lSD-man barrack block for other ranks at Trentham, the first stage of the upgrading of the garrison club at Waiouru, a new water treatment plant at Waiouru, and the improvement of heating services at Te Rapa and Woodbourne. Fire protection services at Trentham and the Kensington Barracks in Dunedin have also been upgraded. Army engineer units completed work on improvements to the dining hall of the Services Corrective Establishment at Ardmore and to the Transport Park at Linton.
Capital works and maintenance projects on which work is continuing include the 600-man other ranks kitchen and dining building at Papakura, the modernisation of barracks accommodation and ablutions at the same camp, a radar and sonar workshop and electricians’ workshop at the Dockyard, a new gymnasium and renovations to the Junior Ranks Club at Tamaki, a new avionics centre and strengthening of No. 3 Hangar at Whenuapal, the later stages of the modernisation of garrison club facilities and shopping centre renovations at Waiouru, improvements by modernisation and refurbishment to accommodation or mess facilities at Hobsonville, Ohakea, Wigram, and Shelley Bay, the conversion from oil to natural gas heating at Papakura, and various extensive improvements to reticulated services at most major camps and bases. During the year the construction of 93 houses was approved and work on 125 is now in progress.
Disposal of Land and Equipment
The increasing environmental demands of the public are causing more and more requests for the release of land held by the Ministry for training and other purposes. The Ministry’s policy of regularly reviewing land holdings has enabled more than 6000 ha (15000 acres) to be released in the past 15 years. Negotiations have been completed to exchange areas of Defence land along the northern boundary of Waiouru for areas of State forest land particularly in the north-east, a transaction which will allow public access to the Kaimanawa State Forest to the east of Waiouru while eliminating an intrusion of Forest land into the training area. The formal exchange will take place when the new boundary is surveyed. In addition, a block of Defence land is being passed to the Tongariro National Park Board to give access to the Tukino village and ski fields.
Five hundred and seventy declarations of surplus and obsolete equipment were issued to the Government Stores Board during the year, covering 9543 lines of equipment and 193 vehicles. Good progress is being made in surveying holdings to identify disposal stocks to facilitate economies in warehousing, maintenance, and manpower.
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The emphasis in the defence science programme has continued to be on factors which are unique to the New Zealand environment and which may be relevant to future defence requirements, particularly in the field of maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare. Among the Defence Scientific Establishment’s more important projects have been a study of the regional dependence of low frequency underwater sound propagation, the results of which could have important consequences for the design of acoustic detection systems used in modern aircraft, and the analysis of TASMANEX 75-the largest such analysis ever undertaken by the DSE-which allowed the assessment of the performance of a considerable number of modern weapons systems in the local environment. The establishment continued to devote considerable effort to the development of towed sonar systems which exploit the particular conditions existing in the New Zealand area. This programme is now awaiting the resumption of sea trials in June 1976.
The work of the establishment is well recognised internationally and numerous overseas scientists visit to participate in joint research programmes and multi-national conferences. These contacts are valuable and usefully supplement the ever increasing flow of technical information obtained through participation in international co-operative programmes with the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and Canada.
Because Defence activities involve the expenditure of considerable foreign exchange and a large proportion of the Vote is devoted to wages for personnel, inflation both overseas and in New Zealand continues to make forecasts in money terms extremely difficult. Increasing costs, together with the New Zealand devaluation in 1975, have compelled the Ministry to maintain a continuous and detailed review of policy in order to ensure that it meets current requirements and is compatible with overall Government policy. While effective, the restraints stemming from this review have led to doubts about the ability of the services to provide a challenging and satisfying professional career for high quality manpower.
New Zealand Force South-east Asia
The cost of our contribution to activities under the Five Power Defence Arrangements in Singapore-Malaysia in 1975-76 amounted to $10.168 million, a figure which excludes the normal New Zealand pay and allowances of personnel involved. Approximately $1.619 million for agency services provided to our erstwhile ANZUK partners was recovered and a further progress payment of $0.6 million was made towards outstanding claims for initial capital and stores provided at the time of the formation of the ANZUK Force in 1971. The net recurring cost, therefore, was $7.949 million.
THE DEFENCE COUNCIL
As at 31 March 1976 the Defence Council comprised:
Hon. Allan McCready, M.P., Minister of Defence (Chairman).
Lieutenant-General Sir Richard Webb, K.B.E., C.B., Chief of Defence Staff
Mr J. F. Robertson, A.PROF., D.P.A., Secretary of Defence.
Rear-Admiral J. F. McKenzie, C.B.E., Chief of Naval Staff.
Major-General R. H. F. Holloway, C.B.E., Chief of General Staff.
Air Vice-Marshal R. B. Bolt, C.B.E., D.F.C., A.F.C., Chief of Air Staff.
(During the year Rear-Admiral E. C. Thorne, C.B.E., retired as Chief of Naval Staff.)
The Secretary to the Treasury and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs are associate members of the council and continue to attend or be represented at its meetings. The attendance of representatives of other departments is sought as required and the council also welcomes opportunities to discuss matters of mutual interest with Ministers and senior officials from overseas.
VISITORS TO NEW ZEALAND
A number of political leaders and senior defence officials visited New Zealand during the year. Among these were:
Honourable W. L. Morrison, Minister of Defence, Australia.
Lieutenant-General Tai Sri Datuk Ungku Nazaruddin Bin Ungku Mahommed, Chief of General Staff, Malaysia.
Rear-Admiral C. R. P. C. Branson, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Operations), United Kingdom. .
General Sir Cecil Blacker, Adjutant General, United Kingdom.
Air Chief Marshal Cam Kemasingki, Royal Thai Armed Forces.
Rear-Admiral G. V. Gladstone, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Australia.
Major-General H. McDonald-Smith, Director of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, United Kingdom.
Admiral Sir Edward Ashmore, First Sea Lord, United Kingdom.
Major-General J. H. Foster, Army Engineer in Chief, United Kingdom.
Rear-Admiral W. R. McClendon, Pacific Fleet, United States of America.
General Louis L. Wilson Jnr, Commander in Chief, Pacific Air Force, United States of America.
Air Marshal Sir Charles Pringle, Controller of Engineering and Supply, United Kingdom.
Vice-Admiral R. P. Coogan, Commander Third Fleet, United States of America. Colonel Winston Choo Wee Leong, Director General Staff, Singapore.
Admiral Noel Gayler, Commander in Chief, Pacific Forces, United States of America.
Groups from the Royal College of Defence Studies, United Kingdom, the National Defence College of Thailand, the Australian Army Staff College, and Indonesian Armed Services visited New Zealand on study tours. Naval ships from the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States called at New Zealand ports during the year. The Ministry acknowledges with appreciation the hospitality provided by various clubs, associations, and private individuals to visiting personnel.