US and NZ defence get further into bed

Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones and US Pacific Commander, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III have signed an open-dated logistics agreement which will provide significant benefits for both countries.

The Treaty-level Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) will continue the interoperability, readiness, and effectiveness of NZ and US military forces through increased logistic cooperation. The agreement is designed to facilitate reciprocal logistic support between the Parties to be used primarily during combined exercises, training, deployments, port calls, operations, or other cooperative efforts.

The agreement provides New Zealand with two major benefits: Support for both routine activities such as exercises or while on operations such as in Afghanistan. Costs will be reduced and efficiencies increased. 

The agreement replaces an earlier one which has been in force since 2 November 2000. The new agreement is almost identical to the current arrangement with the one exception being that there is no expiration date.

Lieutenant General Jones said, “The ACSA is an important strand to New Zealand’s Defence relationship with the US providing for wide ranging mutual logistics support, provision of supplies, and the provision of services between the NZ Defence Force and the US military at a strategic level.

“For example, it is important for our operations in Afghanistan and has benefited us considerably during the recent RIMPAC exercise. The agreement provides the umbrella for a raft of implementing arrangements.” 

Admiral Locklear said: “The actions of our two nations in signing this agreement are important for our partnership, especially in the Pacific region. This agreement, at an important time in our relationship, will increase capability and interoperability and help us provide more affordable support for humanitarian relief, disaster assistance, counter-terrorism, capacity building and collective defence throughout the Pacific region.”

The ACSA signing ceremony was one of two conducted during the annual Pacific Chiefs of Defence Conference held at the Intercontinental Hotel and Resort in Sydney. 

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