Joint Exercises Key To NZDF's Future Success

11 November 2013
New Zealand troops taking part in the exercise

New Zealand troops taking part in the Exercise Southern Katipo 13.

All three services of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) must train together and with our allies to achieve anything in the future, says New Zealand Army Colonel John Howard, Commander of Exercise Southern Katipo 2013.

"Working together as one team is a bit like a rope with all of the threads bound together, with each thread understanding its purpose so we can pull on their weight when we need to and the Government calls for it," Colonel Howard said.

"Each of the services brings specific skills that they generally grow in isolation. Through Southern Katipo, we are blending all of those skills on land, at sea and in the air to deliver an effect."

Exercise Southern Katipo is the biggest international military exercise ever to be held in New Zealand. It involves three ships and up to 18 aircraft and 2200 personnel from New Zealand and nine other countries.

Speaking from Timaru, where the second stage of the 10-nation exercise is being held, Colonel Howard said he believed everyone participating in Southern Katipo would receive an experience that would let them grow professionally.

The exercise would be like an assault course everyone knew they had to finish.

"We all know we will have to climb, run, drop, crawl, swing and grab things over the next few weeks to achieve what we have to. The challenge will be to find all of the hurdles and work out how to clear them together."

"We have great opportunities here to train for beach assaults and to conduct non-opposed amphibious landings, to parachute in, and to spread out for a whole range of tactical tasks."

Joint exercises such as Southern Katipo allow the Defence Force to train for future combat operations. "Our own history tells us we must be prepared for complex environments and for whatever comes our way."


For more information, please contact NZDF Senior Media Adviser Squadron Leader Lyn Coromandel on 021 420 899.

This page was last reviewed on 11 November 2013.