Kiwi Polemicist

September 3, 2008

NZ military flies like a dead duck

That’s according to this article.

I’m not surprised: I’ve been researching our defensive (dis)abilities and I think that we couldn’t stop Capt. Mainwaring and Co. after they had had a night at the pub. I’m no pacifist but I do wonder why we bother having a military force; they’re neither use nor ornament if the fit hits the shan. On the bright side, this does effectively stop Helen from attempting to conquer the world.

I emailed NZ Defence Force HQ to ask how many of the army personnel  are “front line combat staff”. It took three emails from me before they understood the question, then I received this reply:

We are unable to quantify that in the traditional sense, as we do not
have personnel on the ‘front line’ and with the global security dynamic
as it is now, everyone needs to be able to fight.

Well, that was very illuminating.

Let’s imagine that Australia is invading NZ because they want to capture Helen and make her their absolute monarch for life. The military reluctantly decide to defend NZ with:

♦ 2 frigates, each with a single 5-inch pop gun and 2 torpedo tubes that can attack surface vessels. Each can carry a single helicopter capable of carrying a choice of depth charges, torpedoes, and air-to-surface-missiles. The frigates also have short- and medium-range air defence systems

♦ a supply ship not intended for combat. It has a 1-inch gun and can carry 4 helicopters, of which the navy has five in total

♦ 6 Orion surveillance aircraft capable of carrying depth charges and torpedoes. These are slow and defenceless

That’s on a good day when everything is actually working: now we’re left with the army after the navy and air force have been wiped out in half a day. The NZDF website mentions 4754 regular army staff and 1690 territorial army staff. They would all be capable of firing in the general direction of the Australians – if we had enough rifles – but the military always has a small set of teeth and a huge backside, so there’s probably only a few hundred staff with any infantry training to speak of.

We’d cause the Australians much more pain if we just surrendered without a fight and gave Helen to them.


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