Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Defence Shape-changers...

This week's NZ Defence Force white paper has recommended swapping up to 1400 support positions from uniformed personnel to civilians, and reallocating the money saved to front-line forces.
At least one military base - Linton near Palmerston North - could close: instead a combined air force/army hub is recommended for the Ohakea air force base near Bulls, west of Palm.North. There could also be reductions at Waiouru army camp.
These changes could free up to $400 million that can be used to revitalise tired equipment and personnel. Savings like that are vital in these tight economic conditions, but what's even more pleasing is that they won't be gobbled up by government, but actually used where long needed. One can't expect military to perform to expectations without modern gear and adequate numbers, so this is very good news indeed!
The paper foresaw a fragile outlook for the South Pacific, and said our military must be capable of carrying out lengthy deployments there. While it's unlikely we'll face a direct military threat, there're potential risks from political instability, natural disasters and humanitarian crises.
How DARE you kiwis tell ME what to do!!!Our government also wants to speed up the sale of surplus off-base housing. And while on that subject, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is here this week on her first official trip to NZ. Perhaps someone will ask her to kindly lift the veto on the sale of our mothballed Skyhawk fighters, so that we can free up some more money for our frontline troopies? Pretty please?

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