27 February 2019
More than 90 officer cadets from the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), New Zealand Army, and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) have just spent six weeks putting their survival skills to the test during a Joint Officer Induction Course at RNZAF Base Woodbourne.
It is the start of their journey to becoming commissioned officers in their chosen service.
During the course students were taught a range of military skills, knowledge, and behaviour that they will need to succeed as officers, including the military justice system, first aid, and resilience training. Classroom learning was consolidated with a land and sea based survival and maritime navigation activity that took place in Havelock and Waihopai Reserve.
Officer in charge of the exercise Lieutenant Jessica Shaw was pleased with how the cadets responded to the challenges, which were designed to develop their resilience in sea and land environments.
“The experiential activity is a complex undertaking with many moving parts,” Lieutenant Shaw said. “Our experienced team have to put trainees through their paces while making detailed observations of the behaviour we are looking to develop in them.”
The joint nature of the training ensures that instructors also emphasise the tri-service relationships that underpin an integrated New Zealand Defence Force.
“Having officer cadets commence their training in a joint environment enables them to build relationships that will serve them throughout their officer careers,” Lieutenant Shaw said.
Included in the intake were 10 students from Malaysia, Fiji, Timor-Leste, and Papua New Guinea, participating under the Mutual Assistance Programme.
Two Australian Cadets from the Royal Military College Duntroon were also participating, as part of an exchange programme with the New Zealand Army. They will return to the Australian Army as commissioned officers at the conclusion of their 12 months of training in this country.
Joint Officer Induction Training is conducted twice annually at RNZAF Base Woodbourne, providing the foundation for officer initial training in the RNZN, Army, and RNZAF.