Major General Keating formally hands over command to Colonel Parsons
Yesterday marked a significant day for the NZ Army as the 2nd Land Force Group was officially renamed 1 (NZ) Brigade during a Change of Command parade held at Linton Military Camp, near Palmerston North. The establishment of 1 (NZ) Brigade is one of the most visible aspects of the changes being made over the next two years based on Chief of Army Major General Tim Keating’s plan to Operationalise the Army.
The change to 1 (NZ) Brigade symbolises the transition being undertaken as part of the Army 2015 Strategic Plan and there are several initiatives and projects underway. Headquarters 1 (NZ) Brigade now assumes command of all operational Units in the NZ Army, including those previously commanded by the 3rd Land Force Group in Burnham.
Additionally, a Headquarters Deployable Joint Task Force (Land) is being established at Burnham Military Camp, with a Headquarters Training and Doctrine Group (TRADOC) established in Waiouru Military Camp.
“These new organisations are not a destination. Instead, they form a starting point for how Army will operate in future years to support its objectives and the priorities of the Government of the day,” says Major General Keating.
“These changes fall directly from the future force structure proposals presented in the Defence White Paper 2010. Part of that White Paper identified a need for Army to develop a more deployable headquarters and task force. These changes help us to achieve this, allowing us to continue to meet our objectives and obligations at home, within the broader Pacific region, and further afield with our allies and partners”.
The parade was attended by the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, and the mayor of Palmerston North, Jono Naylor. Over 800 soldiers and officers were also present to witness the command of 1 (NZ) Brigade handed over to the incoming Commander, Colonel Chris Parsons.
Colonel Parsons brings to the formation a significant amount of operational experience, and is looking forward to the challenge that his appointment brings, “It is important that in today’s environment we use our time and resources effectively in order to prepare ourselves for operations and therefore strive for combat excellence”.
“Despite the number of tasks that our soldiers are required to undertake both domestically and overseas, we must continue to remain focussed and committed in order to be successful in our endeavours”.
In addition to the Linton-based Units, the parade also included representatives from 2/1 Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, Queen Alexandra Mounted Rifles, 3 Logistics Battalion, 1 (NZ) Military Intelligence Coy, and 1 (NZ) Military Police that now form part of the Brigade.
For more information contact Major John Gordon, Senior Comms and Media Advisor (Army) on 021 478 574.