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Defence Minister welcomes new joint approach

2 July 2001 Media Statement

Defence Minister welcomes new joint approach

The new joint operational headquarters is one of the most important defence initiatives taken under this government, the Minister of Defence Mark Burton said today.

Mr Burton was speaking at the official opening of Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand, in Trentham.

"The move to one joint operational HQ is a significant shift in the way we manage military operations," Mark Burton said, " and it enables us to make the most effective operational use of the resources committed to New Zealand's defence requirements.

"This recognises the very real operational requirement to stop thinking in terms of the individual single service contributions, in favour of what is the most effective Defence Force response.

"As the government's Defence Policy Framework issued in June last year, stated: "The three armed services work most effectively when they work together."

"Timor and other recent experiences have taught us that greater synergy in planning, deploying and controlling the NZDF on operations can be achieved through a permanent, dedicated, operational joint headquarters.

"This will be far more effective than the previous practice of forming operational joint headquarters on a contingency basis.

"The strategic, operational and tactical levels of command are clear and distinct under the new structure," Mark Burton said.

"The strategic level, which includes military relations and economic management, remains the responsibility of Headquarters NZDF in Wellington.

"The tactical levels of command remain embedded within the three services.

"It is the operational level that is the responsibility of this new joint headquarters.

"The single services, under their respective Chiefs of Service, will remain responsible for single service organisation and development. They will continue to recruit, train and sustain forces. These forces will be assigned to the new joint force headquarters, as and when required.

"I am grateful to the Chief of Defence Force, Air Marshall Carey Adamson, for his vision, leadership and strong commitment to the concept of jointness; and to the three service chiefs – Air Vice Marshall Don Hamilton, Major General Maurice Dodson and Rear Admiral Peter McHaffie - for their support in working towards this major new development.

"We are also very fortunate to have Major General Martyn Dunne as the new Commander Joint Forces, New Zealand. I want to thank him and his team for the enormous effort they have put in to get us to this stage," Mark Burton said.

Trentham was selected as the location for Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand after an extensive review of all the options. It will be responsible for all Defence Force operational deployments (and the NZDF is currently involved in 15 missions worldwide) as well as all joint and international combined exercises.


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