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  • Originally posted by Anzac View Post
    https://www.1news.co.nz/2021/12/24/n...d-in-solomons/

    China received more than half of all seafood, wood, and minerals exported from the region in 2019. Experts warn this is creating ‘enormous challenges for sustainable development’




    The underlying reasons for a lot of the trouble in the Solomons of late. Not a happy place at all.
    The Gudal canal Vs Malaita element is one that is consistently underreported by the international press in their reporting of current happenings.

    Comment


    • NZ getting the last few miles out of the old Hercs before upgrading to the J model.
      For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.

      Comment


      • Following the volcanic eruption and Tsunami in Tonga the runway at Tongatapu has been cleared by the local Tongan Defence Force and the HADR operation is now ramping up. The RNZAF have conducted two P-3K situational awareness flights and the RAAF a P-8A flight meaning the C-130's can start operating. Yesterday a C-130H went up along with a C-17 from the RAAF arriving in the afternoon. The JASDF are also arranging two C-130 flights over the next couple of days. The aircraft will start a tempo of regular trips over the next week flying out of Auckland and Amberley.

        On the naval front HMNZS Wellington with embarked SeaSprite with a survey and dive team is in the area, with the HMNZS Aotearoa on its way and HMNZS Canterbury to follow also with embarked NH90 helicopters. The Aotearoa will provide 250000 litres of fresh water and its desalination plant can generate 70000 litres of drinking water per day. The RAN are readying HMAS Adelaide the LHD with 3 embarked Chinooks to head to Tonga to give further support. These vessels should arrive in 4-5 days. The flights and vessels are concentrating on providing water, temporary shelters, generators and communications equipment.

        There is also an element of strategic competition in all of this as well. It is clearly evident that NZ, Australia and Japan are actively front footing the response to keep China at bay who have created problems in the past.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/pol...uption-rebuild

        I hope that the Irish Department of Defence are taking note that it is essential to have embarked rotary assets and landing craft on any future Irish MRV asset. It cannot be at all guaranteed that airports, harbours and ports will be open in a time of disaster or conflict!

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/south-...-disaster-zone
        Last edited by Anzac; 21 January 2022, 07:04.

        Comment


        • Worth saying the RAN , RNZN and RNZAF response to the volcano have been textbook demonstrations of the HADR force multiplier a navy and air force can be.
          MPA does intial recce, OPV carries out port survey to ensure access is permitted for larger ships carrying humanitarian Aid, LPH and AOR sail with HADR load.
          Only an idiot would not see the usefulness of a properly equipped Air and Sea arm at these times.

          Meanwhile our Minister For Defence is explaining what he is going to do about the Dept of Foreign Affairs Champagne Party held while everyone else was in Lockdown. Latest news is he was at a similar party (without champers) a few weeks after.

          We heard the bang from the volcano here (well our machines did), a local weather station recorded the shockwave as a sudden change in barometric pressure, twice, once when the shockwave reached us via the north pole, and slightly later when it hit us via the south pole. Remains to be seen the long term impact for the Tongan people, I fear given this and the combination of rising sea levels, this may have the same impact on the Islands as the Montserrat volcano some years ago. I believe for now the main issue seems to be restoring the water supply and repairing the undersea cable connecting Tonga with the world. (Damaged by Volcano, not russia in this instance).

          Well done to all involved in the efforts so far. Thankfully so far casualties seem relatively small. The loss of contact from the Islands had everyone very, very concerned for a while..
          For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.

          Comment


          • Latest movements with respect to the Tongan HADR response.

            The JMSDF now is sending the 14000 tonne flat top the JS Osumi with two Chinooks embarked. The JASDF is now also sending a Kawasaki C-2 airlifter with further supplies in addition to the tasked C-130. The Royal Navy is sending HMS Spey, which has been visiting Taihiti and the USN is also sending its the nearest available vessel the USS Sampson an Arleigh Burke Destroyer with embarked an MH-60R. The HMNZS Aotearoa berthed in Nuku'alofa Port yesterday afternoon, but once it has finished offloading its supplies it will immediately head down to Antarctica to assist the US Antarctic Program (USAP) cargo ship Ocean Giant which has run into mechanical problems in the Southern Ocean. The amphibious support ship HMNZS Canterbury set sail today NZST with a further two NH-90’s and will relieve Aotearoa.

            The Canterbury also has desalination facilities to generate fresh water. Supplies include more fresh water and milk powder together with vehicles and construction equipment, in case they are required by the Tongan authorities. A contingent of NZ Army Engineers will sail with the ship.

            Yesterday a ​​​​​​second flight by a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft delivered further humanitarian and disaster relief stores to Tonga. Further flights are planned.

            HMNZS Aotearoa, when alongside in Nuku’alofa today delivered 250,000 litres of bulk water supplies, and had filled two 185,000 litre tanks by lunchtime.
            Last edited by Anzac; 22 January 2022, 15:01.

            Comment


            • NZ must be applauded for their fast response to this incident.
              For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
                NZ must be applauded for their fast response to this incident.


                And the Aussies as well they are picking up the Fijian Army on the way to get more boots on the ground. But this time there is extra urgency because we are now seeing a HADR event in action that is also part of the battle existing in the Grey Zone against China. The Japanese are also making a huge effort and are experts in HADR with excellent training and equipment. NZ and OZ are glad to have them with us in helping Tonga. They unlike another North Asian country don't deliberately park aircraft on the runway during HADR events so other nations cannot land as what happened to a RAAF C-17 flight in Vanuatu during 2020 which had to turn back to Australia.

                Comment



                • Nice summary of recent NZ Operations in Tonga.
                  For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.

                  Comment


                  • The latest quarterly edition of Line of Defence a NZ Defence magazine is now online. You can download the pdf by clicking the arrow top left on the ISSUU document.

                    https://defsec.net.nz/2021/12/13/lin...ummer-2021-22/

                    Some good articles to digest:

                    The two from CAPT Watts RNZNR Rtd are well worth a read. The first is where he discusses the Grey Zone in the context of a future fleet. In the second he expands on this with a discussion about future RNZN Frigate replacements requiring modularity and the ability to swing between the core RNZN roles in the future from high end combat through to littoral warfare, EZZ/HADR, and Escort/Sea Control. Capt Watts has long been a fan of the Danish modular approach of the Iver Huitfeldt/Absalon vessels and mentions the RN's Type 32 which is exploring modularity options and a minimum of 5 vessels (though not mentioned in this article he has expanded elsewhere the necessity and efficiency of a shore based Zero Ship or "stone frigate" Training and Sims centre).

                    There is an article by former defence minister and ex Army Officer Dr Wayne Mapp titled Does New Zealand spend enough on Defence? in which he discusses GDP spend per capita and argues that the NZDF needs to sustain 1.5% of GDP over the rest of the decade and beyond due the AUKUS interoperability and the rise of China instead of the traditional 1.1% and that it would allow for a further $1.8B to be spent annually on capital equipment. (This year the NZDF will spend 1.5% of GDP as a one off sugar hit due to buying the P-8's and C-130J's). He also questions the utility of just having a two frigate Navy like at present suggesting three, but then suggests the Type 31 exposes the fact he is former Army from the 80's and DefMin nearly 15 years ago.

                    The final article worth having a look at is by Chris Penk MP a former Naval Officer who discusses the context of AUKUS with respect to NZ. I am eagerly awaiting the day when this guy is our DefMin as he is the first politician I've meet who actually is a real deal defence expert!
                    Last edited by Anzac; 3 February 2022, 10:43.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Anzac View Post
                      The latest quarterly edition of Line of Defence a NZ Defence magazine is now online. You can download the pdf by clicking the arrow top left on the ISSUU document.

                      https://defsec.net.nz/2021/12/13/lin...ummer-2021-22/

                      Some good articles to digest:

                      The two from CAPT Watts RNZNR Rtd are well worth a read. The first is where he discusses the Grey Zone in the context of a future fleet. In the second he expands on this with a discussion about future RNZN Frigate replacements requiring modularity and the ability to swing between the core RNZN roles in the future from high end combat through to littoral warfare, EZZ/HADR, and Escort/Sea Control. Capt Watts has long been a fan of the Danish modular approach of the Iver Huitfeldt/Absalon vessels and mentions the RN's Type 32 which is exploring modularity options and a minimum of 5 vessels (though not mentioned in this article he has expanded elsewhere the necessity and efficiency of a shore based Zero Ship or "stone frigate" Training and Sims centre).

                      There is an article by former defence minister and ex Army Officer Dr Wayne Mapp titled Does New Zealand spend enough on Defence? in which he discusses GDP spend per capita and argues that the NZDF needs to sustain 1.5% of GDP over the rest of the decade and beyond due the AUKUS interoperability and the rise of China instead of the traditional 1.1% and that it would allow for a further $1.8B to be spent annually on capital equipment. (This year the NZDF will spend 1.5% of GDP as a one off sugar hit due to buying the P-8's and C-130J's). He also questions the utility of just having a two frigate Navy like at present suggesting three, but then suggests the Type 31 exposes the fact he is former Army from the 80's and DefMin nearly 15 years ago.

                      The final article worth having a look at is by Chris Penk MP a former Naval Officer who discusses the context of AUKUS with respect to NZ. I am eagerly awaiting the day when this guy is our DefMin as he is the first politician I've meet who actually is a real deal defence expert!
                      A lot relevant to Ireland in some of them, thanks

                      Comment


                      • The NZ Government has deferred the Southern Ocean Patrol Vessel Project.

                        Despite concerns about the capability of our naval fleet, plans for a new ship are going on ice.


                        This vessel originally was due to be commissioned in 2023 (replacing the two IPV's which Ireland has now bought) then 4 years ago it was pushed out to 2027. Now it looks to be beyond 2030.

                        The other thing I am very angry about is that the NZDF borne the blunt of managing the MIQ facilities for 2 years and that 10% of NZDF have indicated that they want to leave or have recently walked!! I blame the over the top lockdown and MIQ strategy that went for far too long - the government treated highly trained warfare specialist as their cheap pliable security guards for 2 years even though the NZDF warned them that the rank and files patience would wear thin because that was not what they signed up for. All that hard work in building up the numbers over the last 5 years looks as though it will be pissed away over the next fews months.

                        And to top it all off now we find out that the PRC are somehow going to achieve military basing access to the Solomon Islands (bribery of elected officials is the modus operandi), in what is the biggest strategic power-play in the Pacific since WW2. Never mind that the invasion by Putin has completely up ended the global strategic balance.

                        Then again and I don't want to get too political - but this current government are the same lot that cancelled the F-16's and 3rd Anzac Class 20 years ago, so I am not surprised that the first thing they start making cuts to is Defence.

                        The only silver lining though is that they are behind in the polls and the anger from the voters is now backlashing against them. Though I will have to suffer these muppets for another 18 months though.

                        Comment


                        • Yes, I think the honeymoon is definitely over for Jacinda. At the outset of Covid, your government was held up as a model to those promoting a "zero covid" solution, however 2 year on, your vaccinations are nowhere near the rest of the developed world, and some NZ Citizens living abroad are still unable to return home.
                          She had a good run, time for change.
                          The West got a wake up with regards to security in the last month. You know China are watching closely and adjusting to take over Russias place as Major military super power, and has also seen that you can invade a neighbouring state (that you don't recognise) and while the west will express discontent, they will not take military action, for fear of being drawn in to a larger, Nuclear conflict. So Basically everything in the Pacific not flying a US flag is fair game.
                          For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
                            Yes, I think the honeymoon is definitely over for Jacinda.
                            The older hands in her government are all jostling for position as they know the games up. The rumour is the Speaker wants to go to Dublin as the next Ambassador and her political mentors have other diplomatic jobs lined up. Some say Jacinda is wanting a senior UN position NY or Geneva.

                            Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
                            The West got a wake up with regards to security in the last month.
                            As in the public, politicians and the media that reports to them most definitely.

                            Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
                            You know China are watching closely and adjusting to take over Russias place as Major military super power, and has also seen that you can invade a neighbouring state (that you don't recognise) and while the west will express discontent, they will not take military action, for fear of being drawn in to a larger, Nuclear conflict. So Basically everything in the Pacific not flying a US flag is fair game.
                            China will definitely take advantage of a wounded Russia in the pecking order, but a wounded Russia is still dangerous, as nationalistic resentment is something that can be easily stirred up in a Post-Putin state.

                            Now is not the time for the idealism and exceptionalism with respect to smaller maritime liberal democracies. Countries like Ireland and NZ will have to accept the realism of interdependence with larger friends in terms of collective national security viz the EU in Irelands case and the US/Aust/Japan in New Zealand's case.
                            Last edited by Anzac; 27 March 2022, 21:40. Reason: grammar

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Anzac View Post
                              The NZ Government has deferred the Southern Ocean Patrol Vessel Project.

                              Despite concerns about the capability of our naval fleet, plans for a new ship are going on ice.


                              This vessel originally was due to be commissioned in 2023 (replacing the two IPV's which Ireland has now bought) then 4 years ago it was pushed out to 2027. Now it looks to be beyond 2030.

                              The other thing I am very angry about is that the NZDF borne the blunt of managing the MIQ facilities for 2 years and that 10% of NZDF have indicated that they want to leave or have recently walked!! I blame the over the top lockdown and MIQ strategy that went for far too long - the government treated highly trained warfare specialist as their cheap pliable security guards for 2 years even though the NZDF warned them that the rank and files patience would wear thin because that was not what they signed up for. All that hard work in building up the numbers over the last 5 years looks as though it will be pissed away over the next fews months.

                              And to top it all off now we find out that the PRC are somehow going to achieve military basing access to the Solomon Islands (bribery of elected officials is the modus operandi), in what is the biggest strategic power-play in the Pacific since WW2. Never mind that the invasion by Putin has completely up ended the global strategic balance.

                              Then again and I don't want to get too political - but this current government are the same lot that cancelled the F-16's and 3rd Anzac Class 20 years ago, so I am not surprised that the first thing they start making cuts to is Defence.

                              The only silver lining though is that they are behind in the polls and the anger from the voters is now backlashing against them. Though I will have to suffer these muppets for another 18 months though.
                              ....

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                              • Originally posted by TangoSierra View Post
                                ....

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                                Who would have thought that a disease with the potential to kill tens of thousands of citizens, to collapse the health system and associated knock on effects could be considered a security threat to a State

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