The Bilateral Service Cooperation Plan creates a formalised framework for many well-established work streams between the two armies, including sustained cooperation across strategic engagement, capability, training, readiness and common personnel issues.
Chief of the New Zealand Army Major General John Boswell says it’s a significant step forward for the trans-Tasman strategic partnership, with a focus on improved interoperability.
“As close neighbours and allies, we have a mutual commitment to support each other’s security, closely coordinate our efforts in the South Pacific, and maintain a shared focus on the security and stability of our wider region. This plan ensures our Armies can continue to effectively contribute to that,” he said.
Plan ANZAC will reflect a broader defence relationship, one that is open, based on mutual respect and is enduring. It reflects the value of Land Power to both nations, and the value which interoperability between the Australian and New Zealand Army brings to Combined Joint Operations.
“This agreement will make sure both Armies can work as efficiently as possible, complementing each other’s capabilities and capacity. It provides a focus and framework to take ongoing conversations and engagements between allies and mates, and formalise these to improve existing cooperation.
“We will be able to better share lessons across capability development, doctrine for training, and many other areas related to the generation, and in the New Zealand Army’s current case, the regeneration of land combat capability.”
The plan will balance the enduring characteristics of the Anzac relationship, such as close integration in capability, training and readiness; and retention of sovereign capability and capacity to act in support of independent Joint Force operations.
The objectives in the agreement are based on long standing trans-Tasman defence cooperation, captured in the 2018 Joint Statement on Closer Defence Relations.
Another key outcome of the plan is that both nations will cooperate to support common objectives for broader interoperability and standards as members of the American, British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Armies’ Programme.
Cooperation will also continue between the nations’ Special Forces, improving enduring operational interoperability between a New Zealand Special Operations Task Group and an Australian Special Operations Task Force on combined or multinational special operations missions.
“Our armies have a deep history of operational service, organisational cooperation, regional partnerships and mateship. For more than a century, we have served our nations, supported global peace and upheld regional stability – together. We will continue to do just that.” Major General Boswell said.