New Zealand – Army Strategic Plan – Chief of Army Foreword

The NZ Army Strategic Plan is a comprehensive and well considered document that will help direct us on our journey towards the Army of the future. This document details the strategic objectives and initiatives we will focus on in order to transition from Today’s Army (out to 2015) to the Next Army (out to 2020), and then to the future New Zealand Defence Force (2030).

Our current strategic environment is complex. It is characterised by increased operational tempo; ongoing change through the Defence Transformation Plan (DTP); changes to Army’s responsibilities for finance, capability development, logistics, training and education, and human resources management; increased shared service linkages; and likely policy changes arising from the Defence White Paper (DWP).

Despite these challenges, our values, vision and mission are enduring. We will continue to be a world class Army with mana without necessarily ‚owning‘ all the resources we need to do that.

I require all commanders and staffs to look beyond our current challenges towards the Army of the future. We need to be an Army that provides combat effective force elements for current operations, prepares to fight the next contingency and continues to develop warfighting capability. Our forces need to be shaped for the security environment of the future, which is likely to consist mainly of joint, interagency and multinational deployments across the full spectrum of operations in failing or failed states, most probably (but not exclusively) in the South West Pacific region. Although the detail will be determined by our force developers, my overall vision of the future is an Army:

  • that provides sustainable, combined arms task groups that are effectively led, trained and equipped to conduct close combat;
  • has agile and robust structures that can integrate quickly into deployable task groups to deliver the required effects;
  • has an embedded battlefield command philosophy that creates an empowered, adaptive and innovative war-fighting culture at all levels; and
  • has soldiers with enhanced combat effectiveness and situational awareness, able to achieve decision superiority.

Our combat effectiveness has improved significantly through combined arms training over the last decade, and while we have made a lot of progress, there is still much to do. Over the next five years we will continue to focus on building our capability around combat effectiveness, so that by 2015 we will have the ability to quickly assemble, deploy and sustain combat-effective combined arms and light task groups. This ‚Next Army‘ of 2015 is our intermediate objective, not the final objective. In the longer term, I am already looking towards the ‚Army After Next‘ of 2030 and beyond, and I want you to do likewise. I now need you as Commanders, leaders and members of the New Zealand Army to understand your role in the strategic future for the NZ Army. I will expect Command Teams to back brief me on how they view their role over the next few years in achieving the Army Strategy, overcoming the challenges that we have and excelling at what they do best.

Major General Rhys Jones
Chief of Army

View the Chief of Army’s video introduction [wmv file | 31MB]
View the electronic version of the Army Strategic Plan Briefing Pack [PDF | 11.3MB]

New Zealand Army