Extract from the report of the Naval Board of the Defence Council for period 1 April 1979 to 31 March 1980
New Zealand must make its way in a volatile, unpredictable world. In recent months Soviet armed force has been deployed in ruthless pursuit of political interests in a neighbouring country and the Soviet Union is now making military use of facilities in Vietnam and bolstering that country’s occupation of Kampuchea. These shifts and the prolonged instability in Iran have raised international tensions to new levels. Further progress in strategic arms limitations talks has been, hopefully only temporarily, stalled. Accepted norms of international behaviour are accordingly under great stress and a new decade begins against a background of unusually sharp crisis and change.
Defence is no more than prudent insurance against an uncertain future. We must look at things squarely as they are, not as we might wish them to be. Unfounded optimism has no place in the calculation of the nation’s interests. Wishful suggestions that our modest levels of defence expenditure might be further cut back have accordingly been firmly resisted by the Government. The 1978 Defence Review reiterated this Government’s continuing commitment to the maintenance of effective armed forces. Equipment and the expertise to operate it can be built up only painstakingly over a period of many years. Cuts could be made but would have immediate effects on the services’ capabilities. More importantly, the damage done to our national self-reliance and to our capacity to look after our own interests could not be quickly or easily made good in times of increased tension.
The Government is determined that New Zealand should continue to be able to participate fully in the collective security arrangements with which we are associated. We must be able to make an effective contribution to the strategic interests we share in the Pacific with Australia and the United States if we are to expect their continued cooperation and support as our allies. It is pleasing therefore to note the full part our forces have played in the valuable pattern of exercises and training exchanges between the three members of the ANZUS alliance during the year. Only in this way can a small country help achieve an effective capability to ensure the stability of the region in which we live.
This year the twenty-ninth annual meeting of the ANZUS Council was to have been held in Wellington in August. Concern at the trends of international events led to agreement to meet instead in Washington in February. The treaty partners agreed that their principal preoccupation must continue to be with security in the Pacific basin. The dramatic problems in the Indian Ocean area were, however, obviously a matter of shared concern and New Zealand agreed to contribute within its limited resources to air or naval surveillance there designed to deter Soviet expansion. A successful alliance is not a simple balance sheet of direct unilateral advantages to members; it is a flexible responsive grouping with common perceptions of danger and able to recognise the significance for each of wider economic and strategic considerations, such as security of trade routes and oil supplies.
There is therefore no question of rewriting ANZUS. The partners will continue to emphasise their respective responsibilities in the treaty area itself. New Zealand will, in particular, wish to continue to contribute to the pursuit of peaceful, ordered, progress and development in the Pacific. Therefore we shall, in defence as in other fields of international cooperation, seek to develop the very valuable links we have with our South Pacific neighbours and with the ASEAN countries. Our shared programmes of joint training and exercises with these partners of many years’ standing are an important aspect of our wider strategic interests.
The Defence Review stressed the need progressively to upgrade and modernise equipment for all three services. In February I was pleased to announce an extensive re-equipment programme for the armed forces during the 1980s. This will include the complete modernisation of the frigate HMNZS Taranaki for the resource protection and training role, buying Scorpion tracked combat vehicles and replacing the Army’s ageing transport fleet; the RNZAF’s Orion and Skyhawk aircraft will get new electronic and other systems and light transport aircraft will be bought to replace the Devons currently employed in this role; existing communications and data processing networks will be upgraded. In addition, the Ministry of Defence will study the means of modernising HMNZS Canterbury, and will look at making a small addition with jet aircraft to our over-stretched long-range transport fleet. Earlier in the year the purchase of three Air New Zealand F27 aircraft was approved to replace the Devon navigation training aircraft and to supplement capacity in the resource protection and search and rescue roles; replacement of the outer wings of the Hercules aircraft has also been approved and this will ensure that the RNZAF can continue to operate these aircraft well into the next decade.
The 1978 review recognised that HMNZS Otago is nearing the end of her useful life; at the same time it was agreed that the Navy would retain a core force of three combat ships. It is evident that a fully equipped new vessel will be expensive. The RNZN is therefore exploring all options for replacement vessels before any decision can be made.
A feature of the re-equipment programme is that it is aimed at giving New Zealand industry the opportunity to participate. The construction of four RNZN motor launches and a replacement dockyard service craft will be restricted to New Zealand builders who have a proven ability to construct craft of a high standard. The replacement of the Army’s transport fleet will also provide scope for local industry to undertake as much of the work as possible. In addition, it is expected that much of the extensive work on HMNZS Taranaki will be done by the Naval Dockyard in Auckland, with assistance, as appropriate, from other industries:
New Zealand contributed a 75-man contingent to the Commonwealth Monitoring Forces during the difficult and demanding weeks of the ceasefire in Rhodesia. Despite widespread predictions of failure, the Commonwealth deployment achieved its aim of creating a climate in which free and fair elections could be held and the transition made to an independent Zimbabwe. As such it proved again that Commonwealth standards, whether in military affairs or in political co-operation, are a tangible factor in today’s world. For the New Zealand defence forces active involvement in Africa, alongside both established and new Commonwealth partners, added a valuable dimension to our experience.
I believe that the contribution New Zealand was able to make in a quiet, even low-key but practical and professional, way to the final resolution of the difficulties which barred the road to self-government in Rhodesia, once again highlights the value we gain from our armed forces. They are made up of men and women of whom New Zealand can truly be proud. They serve their country’s interests well and without complaint. It is a matter of great personal pleasure to me to know that this year it has been possible-despite the economic pressures we all know that New Zealand faces-to ensure that they have gained at least minimal advances in equipment, to be assured that their conditions of service are improving, and generally to have been able to confirm for myself that the services are in good heart.
T. F. GILL.
INTERNATIONAL DEFENCE RELATIONSHIPS ANZUS
The ANZUS Treaty has been accepted by successive New Zealand governments as the ultimate guarantee of security in the region and its importance as a key element in New Zealand defence policy was reaffirmed in the 1978 Defence Review. In changing strategic circumstances ANZUS is of heightened vitality and importance. A security alliance of this kind imposes an obligation to maintain forces capable of operating alongside those of the other partners; New Zealand accordingly participates in regular military exercises and training programmes, both for units and individuals.
In their communique issued at the end of the twenty-ninth annual meeting of the ANZUS Council held in Washington in February 1980 ministers reaffirmed the commitment of the partners to co-operate with the South Pacific states in support of peaceful, ordered, progress and development and endorsed the efforts of South-east Asian countries to bring about the restoration of peace and security in their region. Ministers also agreed to explore fully possibilities for enhancing the effectiveness of the treaty partners’ military activities in the Indian Ocean in order to demonstrate allied support for the security of the area and to deter further Soviet expansion. It was agreed that such action as was needed should not prejudice the fulfillment of the partners’ responsibilities in the treaty area itself.
Defence Co-operation with Australia
Defence co-operation with Australia is founded on the view expressed in the 1978 Defence Review, that the trans Tasman relationship is “the single most important strand in our international network”. Close defence contacts between the two countries have been maintained at both ministerial and official levels through the meetings of the Australia-New Zealand Defence Consultative Committee, Defence Policy Group, and the Defence Supply Working Group; substantial progress has been made in such fields as joint planning, research, and development and co-operative supply arrangements. In addition, the implementation in October of a programme of short-term individual exchanges marked a significant step in the development of ANZ training collaboration. These exchanges form part of a pattern of close and frequent co-operation, combined exercising, and training which is making a positive contribution to the enhancement of the defence capabilities of the two countries.
New Zealand Presence in Singapore
New Zealand Force South-east Asia, comprising an infantry battalion with supporting elements and an RNZAF Support Unit, continues to be stationed in Singapore. New Zealand also participates in the Integrated Air Defence System (lADS), contributing two staff officers for the headquarters at Butterworth, Malaysia. The continuing presence of the force is a matter of mutual agreement between the Governments of Singapore and New Zealand. Considerable value is still derived, however, from this arrangement which brings opportunities for joint exercises with the Malaysian and Singaporean armed forces, mutual assistance in training, and worthwhile experience for New Zealand servicemen. Furthermore the presence of the force demonstrates New Zealand’s continuing interest in the stability and security of the region.
Mutual Assistance Programme
New Zealand has a long history of defence co-operation with the nations of the South Pacific and South-east Asia and this association is being continued, mainly within the Mutual Assistance Programme. This programme was developed to maintain and strengthen bilateral relations in the defence field with other countries of strategic concern and to contribute through training to the effectiveness and self-reliance of their armed forces. The countries involved in the programme currently are Fiji, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Benefit from co-operation in defence matters is received as well as offered; the programme encompasses not only training assistance in New Zealand and the secondment of our own personnel to some of these countries, but also provides New Zealand’s own forces with broader training experience and deployment opportunities within the region. In the past year 263 personnel received training in New Zealand under the auspices of the programme.
Defence Co-operation with Nations in the South-west Pacific
One hundred and sixteen Fijian personnel received training in New Zealand in Army trade and staff courses and seaman training; this included a number of officer trainees who were to join the Fiji battalion currently serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. New Zealand continued to provide an officer for the position of Chief of Staff, Royal Fiji Military Forces, and two NCOs serve as clerks of works with the RFMF’s Rural Development Unit. A second officer currently commands the RFMF’s engineer corps. An NCO also served as a catering adviser to the RFMF for a period of 6 months. During the year three RNZN training teams visiting Fiji for short periods to train members of the Fiji Naval Squadron in such subjects as navigation, communications, and gunnery. Instruction in driving, stores accounting, and clerical procedures was also provided in Fiji by five Army training teams.
In May RNZAF Hercules, Skyhawk, and Andover aircraft and Iroquois and Sioux helicopters deployed to Fiji for training in tropical operations and jungle survival. During this deployment helicopter and fixed wing transport support was made available for Fiji Government tasks such as aerial reconnaissance surveys. HMNZS Taranaki took part in exercises with ships of the Fiji Naval Squadron during her visit to Fiji in July.
The Army and the RNZAF were again able to utilise training areas in Fiji to maintain the skills required for operations in tropical conditions. Almost 500 regular and Territorial Army personnel took part in five tropical training exercises, three of which involved selected sub-units of the Field Force which trained in close-country operations, while the other two were extensions of courses conducted in New Zealand designed to enable participants to practice individual skills in a tropical environment. Army personnel conducted a number of short training courses for members of the RFMF during these exercises in subjects such as vehicle servicing and management and mess management. RNZAMC representatives attached to each contingent also provided medical assistance to villagers living close to the training areas.
In December a Tonga Defence Services officer became the first member of an overseas defence force to graduate from the Army’s recently established 12-month initial officer training course. A second member of the TDS is currently attending the 1980 course. In addition 35 personnel, including an officer from the TDS Maritime Squadron who completed 5 months’ training in patrol craft operations, undertook officer and NCO promotion courses, trade training, and instruction in seamanship. An Army NCO is currently serving as a vehicle mechanic instructor at the TDS Trade Training School. In January a RNZN artificer assisted the TDS during the refits of their patrol craft. During the year funds were made available from the Mutual Assistance Programme for the construction of a 9 m sailing boat for the TDS Maritime Squadron.
Papua New Guinea
Following the visit of Mr Duwabane, the Papua New Guinea Minister of Defence, to New Zealand in April, to discuss the development of a programme of defence cooperation, a defence team visited Papua New Guinea in January to lay the basis for an annual plan of co-operation.
Two New Zealand officers continue to serve as instructors at the Joint Services College at Lae. Twenty-eight members of the PNGDF began a basic parachute training course in February and a further two personnel are currently attending the RNZAF’s Junior Command and Staff College Course.
Defence Co-operation with the Asean States
New Zealand Force South-east Asia continues to maintain close contact with the Singapore Armed Forces, through unit exercises and attendance at SAF training courses. RNZAF Support Unit, Singapore, provided technical courses for RSAF tradesmen. Skyhawk aircraft of No. 75 Squadron deployed to the area in September to take part in Five Power Integrated Air Defence System exercises with Australian, Singaporean, and Malaysian forces. An RNZAF engineer officer is currently serving on a 2-year tour of duty with the RSAF and an RSAF pilot completed a year’s service with the Skyhawk Squadron.
A 170-man Singapore Army infantry company conducted an exercise (Lion Walk) at Waiouru in March with limited support provided by the New Zealand Army and RNZAF. The SAF troops as a result had the opportunity to develop open and close country warfare skills.
In November a joint Malaysian/New Zealand Army exercise (Taiaha Tembak II) was held in Pahang State. A brigade headquarters, HQ 9 Malaysian Infantry Brigade and two infantry battalions-1RNZIR and the Malay 8 Rangers-took part together with artillery, reconnaissance, engineer, and logistic units and helicopters from RNZAF Support Unit, Singapore. 1RNZIR gained a valuable opportunity to exercise as part of a larger formation with supporting units and over terrain different from that normally encountered. During the year RNZAF Support Unit also provided support flying for units of the Malaysian Armed Forces.
Sixty Malaysian Armed Forces personnel undertook a variety of training courses in New Zealand. A New Zealand Army officer attended the Malaysian Armed Forces Staff College. Under the inter-change programme one RNZN officer is serving with the Royal Malaysian Navy. An RMN officer returned to Malaysia in December after completing a 2year tour of duty with the RNZN and was replaced by an RMN hydrographic officer. An RMAF supply officer completed a 2-year attachment to the RNZAF in March. A second RMAF officer is currently serving with No. 75 Squadron while an RNZAF Skyhawk pilot is flying strike aircraft on an RMAF squadron. Two New Zealand Army officers are instructing at the Malaysian Army Jungle Warfare School.
During their deployment to South-east Asia in September RNZAF Skyhawk aircraft from No. 75 Squadron visited Indonesia and exercised with Indonesian Air Force units. Eleven Indonesian personnel trained in New Zealand including one officer who is currently doing a Skyhawk conversion course and three naval personnel who are receiving on-the-job training at the dockyard. The dental co-operation programme between Indonesia and New Zealand resumed in December when an Army dental officer lectured on endodontics at the University of Jogjakarta. A second officer is currently lecturing on endodontics at the Indonesian Defence Dental Institute and three Indonesian personnel are receiving on-the-job training at the dental unit at Papakura. In September members of the Indonesian National Defence Institute visited New Zealand. A New Zealand Army officer attended the Indonesian Army Staff College.
EXERCISES, TRAINING EXCHANGES, AND OPERATIONS
In August a New Zealand maritime exercise (TASMANEX) involving all four RNZN frigates, RNZAF Orion and Skyhawk aircraft, and naval forces from Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom, took place in New Zealand waters. It was the largest maritime exercise ever held in this area and 26 ships participated. HMNZS Canterbury and Otago deployed to Hawaiian waters in February to take part in RIMPAC 80, a major maritime exercise in which naval and air units from Australia, the United States, Canada, and Japan also participated.
The Australian-sponsored ANZUS exercise KANGAROO Ill, which was held in Queensland in October, involved land, sea, and air elements of the three alliance members and was the largest exercise in which New Zealand took part during the year. The New Zealand contingent to the exercise included HMNZS Canterbury and Waikato, 500 Army personnel, and RNZAF Skyhawk and Hercules aircraft and Iroquois helicopters.
Exercise TRUPPENAMT 11, a major divisional level Command and Signals exercise designed to provide commanders and staff officers with practice in the conduct of offensive operations was held in February in the Manawatu area. Personnel from the armies of Australia and the United States attended, as did a number of observers from the ASEAN countries, Fiji, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, and New Caledonia. A number of senior New Zealand Army officers attended similar command post exercises in Hawaii. Exercise SOUTHERN SAFARI, which involved visiting 120 man contingents from the Australian Army and the Hong Kong-based 1st/6th Gurkha Rifles, was held in the Tekapo area in March. In the same month a 120-man contingent deployed to Singapore to train with 1RNZIR. By bringing the battalion up to full strength, this deployment allowed major tactical training to be undertaken and enabled troops from New Zealand to exercise as part of an operational battalion in a tropical environment. Earlier in the year a 450-man battalion from the Hawaii based 25th (US) Infantry Division visited New Zealand for cold weather training in Waiouru. Other major exercises during the year included the annual deployment of 75 Squadron to South-east Asia, the joint Malaysian/New Zealand Army Exercise TAIAHA TEMBAK, and the Army and RNZAF deployments to Fiji, all of which are referred to earlier in the report.
Other Exercises, Training Exchanges, and Operations
The first joint deployment for many years to New Zealand’s neighbouring island states by HMNZS Canterbury and Waikato gave practical expression to the emphasis given in the 1978 Defence Review to New Zealand’s role in the South Pacific. Details are recorded in the next section of the report. Earlier on both ships exercised with units of the RAN and, in the course of a call to Papeete during the deployment, with vessels of the French Navy.
In August all four RNZN frigates took part with RN vessels in Exercise SQUADEX 79 which was held in New Zealand waters. The following month HMNZS Waikato joined units of the RAN and RN in SEA EAGLE an anti-submarine warfare exercise held off the south-east coast of Australia. HMNZS Otago deployed to Australia the following month to exercise with Australian naval units and after attending the Waitangi Day celebrations, HMNZS Canterbury also took part in exercises with Australian naval vessels.
ROUTINE OPERATIONS AND ACTIVITIES
International Aid and Other Support Activities in the South Pacific and South-east Asia
Two Iroquois helicopters together with medical teams and equipment were flown to Fiji in April by RNZAF Hercules aircraft following Cyclone Meli which devastated a number of Fiji’s outlying islands. The helicopters evacuated the injured and carried 50 000 kg of food, clothing, and tents between Nausori, Kadavu, and the Lau group of islands.
During the period May-July HMNZS Canterbury and Waikato made goodwill visits to Rakahanga, Manahiki, and Puka Puka in the Northern Cooks and Mitiaro, Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Palmerston, Mauke and Lautoka, Suva, and Nuku’alofa. Civic assistance tasks carried out during these visits included: radio maintenance and the repair of generators; the carriage of Government personnel to outlying islands; the provision of dental and medical assistance; the delivery of relief food supplies to Lakeba in Fiji which had been hit by Cyclone Meli; and the use of the helicopters on board both ships for aerial photography tasks.
In addition to its specialised programme of work the hydrographic survey vessel HMNZS Monowai attended the Kiribati (formerly the Gilbert Islands) independence celebrations during which she provided accommodation for the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. R. D. Muldoon, who was carried to Kiribati by an RNZAF VIP Andover. She subsequently carried the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, in his capacity as Administrator of Tokelau, and village elders from the Tokelau Islands of Fakaofo and Nukunonu to the semi-annual meeting of the Tokelau Parliament held on the island of Atafu. While in this area HMNZS Monowai carried out sketch surveys of both Atafu and Nukunonu.
As part of the Government’s bilateral aid programme, personnel from 1 Field Squadron completed the construction of an 800m causeway between the islands of Lifuka and Foa in Tonga. During this project, which began in late January 1979 and was completed in September, the engineers also provided supervisors for the construction of a hospital at Lifuka. An RNZE team did reef-gapping work in Tuvalu from May to October, while a mechanical trades instructor finished a two month attachment to the Tarawa Technical Institute in April. In March an advance party from 2 Field Squadron deployed to Honiara to establish a base camp for an Army engineer deployment to the Solomon Islands. During the deployment, which will take place in four phases over a period of 5 months, the engineers will undertake the construction of bridges, the survey of an airstrip, water supply tasks, and an extension to a wharf. A RNZAF Hercules aircraft transported building materials to Tuvalu in May. In August a RNZAF Hercules carried building materials to Tarawa, a Ministry of Works reef-gapping team from Tarawa to Apia, and a jet boat to Singapore for use in ferrying supplies to Vietnamese refugees in the Ananibas Islands. In the same month two Hercules transported a coconut sawmill to Zamboanga in the Philippines. Hospital equipment was flown to Tonga in September. As in previous years RNZAF aircraft also undertook casualty and medical evacuation tasks in the South Pacific.
New Zealand Area
The RNZN made four visits to Raoul Island to carry groups from various Government departments and their stores, and was called on 20 times to help the police on tasks ranging from the transportation of sick people to the recovery of boats and of bodies. The RNZN operational diving team also assisted the police with underwater search and recovery operations on 11 occasions. Nine civilian divers received therapeutic treatment in the RNZN recompression chambers at Devonport during the year.
Army assistance in support of the civil community involved 5490 man days. In August both Regular and Territorial Force units assisted in the evacuation of civilians after the Abbotsford landslip, helping particularly with the recovery of property. Army units also assisted in relief operations in Christchurch, Gore, and Mataura following extensive flooding in January. Territorial Force personnel from 1 Mobile Dental Unit provided urgent dental treatment for Vietnamese refugees at the Mangere Immigration Hostel and in-patient facilities at Papakura Camp were made available for refugees in need of basic nursing care. The Army helped the Police Department on 178 occasions to render safe and dispose of explosive devices and provided training, personnel, and equipment to assist with counter-terrorist training.
RNZAF transport aircraft undertook a number of flights on behalf of other Government departments including air supply flights to Raoul and Campbell Islands, air transport for volcanic studies of White Island by Victoria University, and several flights in support of police operations. The RNZAF also supported the Army in its civil defence role at Abbotsford. RNZAF VIP aircraft had a busy year flying a large number of guests of Government, ministers, and senior defence visitors to all parts of New Zealand. The RNZAF also provided training assistance to the aviation industry and other industrial concerns, aero clubs, and the Ministry of Transport. One hundred and fifty-nine civilians attended 16 courses in such subjects as helicopter maintenance, aviation medicine, firefighting, and teaching practice. As in previous years RNZAF Base Wigram was made available for the Lady Wigram Trophy Race. Other RNZAF assistance ranged from the provision of emergency medical treatment and blood bank donations to assisting schools, youth, and other organisations with loans of equipment and static displays.
The Ministry of Defence carries out surveillance and policing of foreign fishing activities to the 200-mile limit of the exclusive economic zone as its contribution to the management of New Zealand fishing resources.
The Patrol Craft Squadron comprising HMNZS Pukaki, Hawea, Taupo, and Rotoiti undertook these duties in the territorial sea. HMNZS Taranaki carried out deeper water patrols, as did HMNZS Waikato. Other RNZN vessels reported on the activities of foreign fishing vessels during the course of their normal duties. RNZAF Orion, Andover, and Skyhawk aircraft also flew reconnaissance of territorial and closed fishing areas and regularly patrolled to the limits of the zone. Closer co-ordination of RNZAF and RNZN activities at Maritime Defence Headquarters, which is located at RNZAF Base Whenuapai, has enabled both services to play a more effective role in the zone. It has not, however, been possible to utilise fully all available resources because fuel restrictions permitted only two patrol craft to carry out patrols at anyone time for the greater part of the year. Nevertheless, 251 courtesy and investigatory boardings were carried out by RNZN vessels and 13 arrests made. Two vessels subsequently convicted for serious infringements of the Exclusive Economic Zone Regulations were confiscated.
HMNZS Monowai completed in December a major survey of the waters from the western Bay of Plenty to the approaches to Whangarei, a task which she had begun in May 1978. During the course of the survey HMNZS Monowai obtained gravimeter readings on behalf of the Geophysics Division of the DSIR. In January HMNZS Monowai began surveys of the west coast of the South Island and Foveaux Strait, and in February made a brief visit to Wellington to host visiting delegates to the United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference. Two new 10.5 m survey motor boats, which are carried on board HMNZS Monowai and used to take inshore soundings, were completed by HMNZ Dockyard, Devonport during the year.
HMNZS Tarapunga and Takapu took soundings on the east coast of Great Barrier Island prior to their decommissioning. In November the first of two new inshore survey craft, also named HMNZS Tarapunga, was launched at Whangarei; the second of these craft, HMNZS Takapu, is expected to be launched later this year. A detached survey party carried out inshore soundings in Mercury Bay and a second party undertook a survey of the north-east coast of Stewart Island.
Charts published by the Hydrographic Office during the year include a further two of a new series of charts of New Zealand and its offshore islands, two metricated charts of the Chatham Islands, and ‘Others of the Wellington to Banks Peninsula and Banks Peninsula to Otago coasts. (The latter replaced a British Admiralty chart published in 1932 which in turn was based in part on surveys by Captain .Tames Cook in 1770.) The acquisition of oceanic data by HMNZS Monowai and HMNZS Tui, greatly assisted the revision of the international series of charts and provided the basis of a small scale chart on which the exclusive economic zones of the Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau can be illustrated. A total of 56372 fully corrected charts and 5400 navigational books were issued for naval use, sold to the shipping industry or to recreational users. Thirtyone thousand five hundred copies of the Weekly Notices to Mariners and 600 copies of an Annual Summary were published. A long-range radio navigational warning service is provided for the South Pacific area.
During the year 3131 personnel received basic, advanced, or refresher course training; 49 officers were also under training, 5 of whom graduated from university. In addition 323 personnel from other Government departments, dockyard staff, and merchant navy personnel and 144 RNZNVR personnel and Sea Cadets attended naval courses. Although the shortage of basic sea training billets has eased since HMNZS Taranaki completed her refit and began resource protection duties, the reduction in the size of the operational force to three combat ships has placed considerable pressure on the RNZN’s specialist sea training capacity. New equipment has not yet been received for the Solartron operations training unit which was damaged by fire the previous year. It has therefore been necessary to continue to send RNZN trainees to Australia to use the operations trainer at HMAS Watson; we are grateful that the RAN has been able to help out in this way and thus avoid serious delays to training.
As at 31 March 1980 the strength of the RNZNVR divisions stood at 371, a slight decrease from 384 a year earlier. Although the manpower ceiling was raised from 400 to 500 during the year, further increases in the ceiling will be necessary before the Reserve is able to carry out fully its new function of supplementing the RNZN particularly in the resource protection role. Recruiting to fill these new positions is proceeding satisfactorily and a number of former regular naval personnel are now joining the Reserve. During the year the first female recruits joined the RNZNVR. One hundred and thirteen recruits filled training billets in RNZN patrol craft and certain posts in the Patrol Craft Squadron will be assigned to the RNZNVR once a sufficient number of trained personnel are available to fill these places. The RNZNVR motor launches combined to provide valuable afloat training for reservists and to exercise with RNZN units. These vessels, because of their age are, however, now restricted to local waters and the RNZNVR looks forward to the acquisition of the replacement craft now approved by the Government.
REORGANISATION OF COMMAND AND SUPPORT STRUCTURE
The Naval Training Group was reorganised in December as a further step towards the centralisation of naval training and the most effective use of available resources. Under the new organisation all training schools have been placed under command of the Captain, Naval Training Group. The Officer Training School has been re-established in better accommodation within HMNZS Tamaki. In step with these changes Naval Support activities of the Auckland Naval Command were also reorganised in February. HMNZS Philomel became the Naval Support Group and assumed responsibility for all support activities including the Naval Stores Depot, Armament Stores Depot, Communications, Finance, and the Fleet Maintenance Unit. This in turn will give more effective command and control of naval support activities and permit HMNZS Philomel to give more direct support to the seagoing element of the RNZN. Some further detailed work has still to be done on responsibilities in the civil administration and finance areas.
Equipment and Supply Support
Major Capital Equipment
In February the Government announced an extensive re-equipment programme for all three services. The programme includes the modernisation of HMNZS Taranaki which it is intended should be carried out by HMNZ Dockyard and will extend the life of the ship by at least 10 years; the construction in New Zealand of a replacement dockyard service craft, for which design studies have already been completed, and four RNZNVR motor launches all of which are beyond economic refit or modernisation. The refurbishment and replacement of the Army’s ageing transport fleet and the purchase of 26 Scorpion fire support vehicles is also provided for. In this regard tenders for the supply of associated containers and ancillary equipment for the transport vehicles should be let by mid 1980 and later in the year for the Scorpions. RNZAF projects include the modernisation of the avionics system in the RNZAF’s Orion maritime aircraft; the acquisition of light transport aircraft to replace the Devons which have been employed in this role since 1952, and the upgrading of RNZAF approach and landing aids at RNZAF Bases Auckland and Ohakea. In addition the outdated Defence communications and data processing networks will be progressively upgraded. A study into the means of modernisation HMNZS Canterbury and a further study into the availability of suitable jet aircraft as a small addition to the present RNZAF C 130 transport aircraft were also included in the programme.
Following the Government’s approval of a study to determine a suitable replacement for HMNZS Otago which is nearing the end of her operational life, an RNZN team undertook an extensive investigation into the options available. The RNZN is now looking further at the cost options before submitting proposals as to the type of vessel to be acquired. Studies into the introduction of computerised technical data systems in the RNZN are also now underway. The RNZN took delivery of the diving tender Manawanui which was built by Whangarei Engineering and Construction Ltd. and two inshore survey craft being built by the same firm to replace HMNZS Takapu and HMNZS Tarapunga are due to be accepted during 1980.
The first of three Air New Zealand Fokker F27 aircraft was handed over to the RNZAF in February and the other two are due for delivery later in the year. These aircraft will replace six Devon navigation training aircraft and will also contribute usefully to resource protection and SAR tasks. A contract has been signed with the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation for the replacement of the Hercules’ outer wings which will substantially extend the life of these aircraft.
Minor Equipment and Supply Support
Items procured or ordered during the year include radar, radio, electronic, and dockyard support equipment for the Navy; a new range of combat bridging, field radios, portable generators, artillery computer and measuring equipment, assault boats, combat packs, and operational tentage for the Army-the latter three items were purchased locally; and radio, radar, telecommunication, and navigation equipment and associated support for the replacement and upgrading of both ground and airborne facilities for the RNZAF. Communications equipment was also purchased for the Defence Telecommunications Network.
The introduction of the new style uniforms for each of the services continues more slowly than planned because of delays in the supply of both materials and finished garments. An improvement in deliveries is, however, expected in the forthcoming year.
HMNZ Dockyard completed a normal refit to HMNZS Otago in July and the first major refit to HMNZS Tui in March. HMNZS Waikato was docked for a normal refit in February. Docking and essential defect work was carried out on HMNZS Canterbury and Monowai, one patrol craft refit was undertaken, and routine work and urgent maintenance were done on all four patrol craft and on small craft operated by other Government departments. The second of two 10.5 m survey launches to be built at the dockyard was completed and the hull construction of two 7.3 m craft which will be used for close in-shore survey work is well advanced.
The Fleet Maintenance Unit, which provides first line servicing and maintenance assistance to both ships and shore establishments, also helped service visiting ships of the navies of Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore during the year. Loan personnel from the RAN have helped meet staff shortages in the unit’s radio department.
HMNZS Irirangi has maintained radio services to Australia, Honolulu, and Vancouver and communication links with naval ships at sea while assisting with SAR communications.
During the year the RNZAF has rationalised the allocation of deeper levels of maintenance of its aircraft and this work is now performed either by the RNZAF’s No. 1 Repair Depot or by civilian contractor. This rationalisation has resulted in some changes to the type of aircraft maintenance let to civilian contractors. In addition, progress has been made towards concentrating the remaining aircraft maintenance with each operating squadron as a means of enhancing the operating flexibility of each squadron and its aircraft.
The Improved Maintenance Programme (IMP) previously implemented on Orion, Hercules, and Strikemaster aircraft was also applied to the Iroquois aircraft during the year. A similar programme for the Andover and Skyhawk aircraft is underway and should be completed by mid 1980. The Strikemaster Viper engine recondition line at RNZAF No. 1 Repair Depot is now fully commissioned and several routine engine reconditions have been completed.
Management of aircraft engineering projects was reviewed and new techniques introduced for more effective project control; these in turn will be further refined to establish effective monitoring of aircraft engineering planning and projects. The expansion of computer techniques to assist with aircraft maintenance resource management is being studied.
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Although the naval research ship HMNZS Tui was unavailable for most of the year while it underwent a major refit which will enhance its capability for under-water acoustic research, the Defence Scientific Establishment made considerable progress on several projects.
Data on ambient noise and sound transmission over undersea ridge systems, which was collected before HMNZS Tui went into refit, was analysed in detail and the results have greatly assisted the assessment of the performance of modern surveillance systems. The construction of a versatile underwater sound measurement system which can meet changing requirements during sea trials with a minimum of effort is well underway and work is nearing completion on modifications to the DSE’s processing and information display equipment used to study parameters bearing on the performance of long-range sonar systems.
During the year the DSE also conducted investigations on behalf of the Army into automatic test equipment for radios, automated tactical command and control systems for use on the battlefield, and tested vibration and electro magnetic interference for the GS vehicle evaluation programme. The operational effectiveness of the maritime forces from New Zealand, Australia, the United States, and Canada which took part in Exercise LONGEX 78 was analysed and a prototype computer-based signal processing system which DSE has developed for the RNZAF was tested.
Research in the metallurgical field has concentrated on investigations into the application of computer decision-making processes to the detection of possible engine component failures, the analysis of such failures in aircraft engines, and a co-operative project using local industrial facilities to evaluate and repair corrosion and erosion damage to steam fittings in RNZN ships.