Australian, New Zealand armies take cooperation to next level

Lieutenant General Simon Stuart (left) and Major General John Boswell. (Australian DoD)

Australia and New Zealand have announced plans for both of their land forces to work more closely together under Plan ANZAC, which aims to improve interoperability by boosting collaboration on information sharing, capability, readiness and training.

The agreement, which was announced jointly on 18 April, comes as the New Zealand Defence Force battles with considerable human resource challenges that have already compelled its navy to idle a third of its ships due to “workforce issues”.

“Plan ANZAC builds on our significant history of partnership by strengthening our Army-to-Army relationships, enhancing interoperability, capacity, ability to jointly support combat operations as well as joint capabilities to meet today’s challenges,” said Australian Army chief Lieutenant General Simon Stuart.

“This partnership will see both armies better prepared to work together to support security and stability missions, and humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations,” added Lieutenant General Stuart.

The plan will also support participation in the American, British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Armies Programme (ABCANZ Armies) – a initiative designed to improve army interoperability and standardisation of training and equipment – between these countries, which also form the Five Eyes intelligence network.

“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,” said Chief of New Zealand Army Major General John Boswell, who added that the agreement will be another significant milestone in the trans-Tasman strategic partnership.

“Plan ANZAC will reflect a broader defence relationship, one that is open, based on mutual respect and is enduring,” added Major General Boswell.

The agreement builds on an earlier commitment, first announced in 2018, for both forces to work more closely together to maintain regional stability and improve the effectiveness of joint operations with cooperation on logistics, communication and training.

by Jr Ng