Forged in bloody combat in Gallipoli, all Anzac operations since have been guided by an insistence that Australian and New Zealand forces deployed in battle should be under their own nation’s direct military lines of command. The Australian and New Zealand Armies will build on their history of cooperation with Plan ANZAC. The bilateral agreement is designed to increase capacity to operate together with a framework for engagement, enabling the two armies to exchange views and share situational awareness, capability, training and readiness.
Chief of New Zealand Army Major General John Boswell said,”Plan ANZAC was a step forward for the trans-Tasman strategic partnership. 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. Plan ANZAC will reflect a broader defence relationship, one that is open, based on mutual respect and is enduring.”
Chief of Australian Army Lieutenant General Simon Stuart said,”The agreement would increase cooperation between the two armies. 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. This partnership will see both armies better prepared to work together to support security and stability missions, and humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations.”
Plan Anzac envisages peaceful endeavours. The two Army chiefs behind it have been coy about who will be in command when their troops undertake more tasks together. New Zealand has remained by far the junior partner in the trans-Tasman relationship, with a combined full-time and reservist army of around 7,000 troops, compared to the Australian Army’s 31,000 full-time personnel. Australia and New Zealand chiefs will now travel to Fiji and Vanuatu, explaining their initiative and inviting smaller pacific nations to work with them.