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Army Grossly Misleads The Government

26 August 2001

The LAV III purchase is a scandal which needs a further investigation immediately says New Zealand First MP and Spokesman on Defence Ron Mark.

“Army documents that have come into my possession clearly show that the Army has kept the government completely in the dark over the logistic problems associated with introducing 105 high tech LAV III’s into service,” said Ron Mark.

“Papers leaked to me show that Army had not done any work to identify the resources required to logistically support a Motorised Army of 105 LAV III’s and that the costings provided to the government are seriously deficient.

“What is clear is that at the time that the Army presented final costs to the government they had given no thought at all as to the number of technicians, mechanics, fuel tankers, water tankers or load carriers they were going to need to follow the Motorised Battalions and keep them re-supplied. They did not even have any understanding as to the quantity of fuel, oil, water, spare tyres, fuel filters, ammunition, rations or the myriad of other things that fast moving high tech motorised units demand would need to be carried or how they would lift or transport them.

“The consequences of what happens to highly mobile fighting formations when they outstrip the capability of their logistics or when logistics are unable to keep up was demonstrated on numerous occasions during World War Two in Africa and the Russian front with disastrous results. That the Army itself in its own papers is admitting that “If the current capability is not improved, the major risk is that the New Zealand Battalion Group, on either Peace Keeping Operations or Combat Operations, will prove to be a liability rather than an asset”, is damning,” said Mr Mark.

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“How is it that the Chief of Navy Staff and the Chief of Air Staff when analysing capital procurement projects are capable of determining the maintenance and support needs on a 10 to 20 year whole of life basis and factoring that into their tender evaluations and yet the Army is not?

“The government has been duped. The Army has pulled the wool over their eyes and at the end of the day the taxpayer will not see any change out of $1 Billion,” said Mr Mark.

ENDS

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