5 July 2019
Long-time Wellington resident Major Scott McIntyre has had to adjust quickly to scorching temperatures in his latest posting, Iraq, where 50 degrees Celsius is common during the day and the intense heat eases only slightly in the evenings.
Major McIntyre is one of about 70 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel currently deployed to Camp Taji as part of the combined training mission with the Australian Defence Force.
“Adapting to the environment, which is hot, dusty and flat, and with no vegetation except for a few scattered trees, has been a challenge,” he said.
Major McIntyre is head of the plans and training cell of Task Group Taji, as the combined New Zealand-Australian training mission is called. He helps ensure the Iraqi Army School of Infantry Non-Commissioned Officers and the estimated 2500 trainees receive adequate mentorship from the New Zealand and Australian troops to be able to conduct their own training.
“My role is like being a project manager, event coordinator and chief negotiator rolled into one,” he said.
“My team ensures our task group is well resourced and adequately structured to mentor the Iraqi Army to deliver their own training. We also coordinate the support of our coalition partners from Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Czech Republic to deliver key capability and training courses.”
During his down time he reads, goes to the gym, visits coalition partners and stays in touch with his family in Johnsonville.
Born in Margate on England’s south-east coast, Major McIntyre migrated to New Zealand with his family when he was five. He grew up in Auckland and attended Edgewater College in Pakuranga.
He enlisted in the New Zealand Army’s Reserve Forces in 1990, while he was studying a bachelor’s degree in Post-Harvest Horticulture at Massey University.
In 2001 he transferred to the Regular Force and deployed to East Timor for six months.
He left the military in 2008 to work at the New Zealand Transport Agency’s Traffic Operations Centre and returned five years later to take up the role of operations planner at Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand, the NZDF’s operational headquarters.
“My previous planning experience and training have prepared me well for my current role,” he said.
“Every successful mission requires robust planning.”