Territorials join battalion on parade
The New Zealand Army is trying something new in an effort to get the most out of its territorial forces.
A formal parade was held at Linton Military Camp on Saturday to officially mark the Logistics Regiment Territorial Force being posted into the 2nd Combat Service Support Battalion (2CSSB).
They were presented with their new shirt and hat insignia, which will match their fulltime soldier battalion colleagues, by Colonel Jim Bliss and Lieutenant Colonel Rose King. Warrant Officer Class 1 Andrew Price said the territorial personnel had been out of the battalion for some years, which brought both positives and negatives.
Having them outside of the battalion had seen them have a smaller focus on exercises, he said.
There were still structural issues to iron out, but bringing the 32 soldiers and two officers from the territorial force into the battalion was expected to result in them getting better training and being more involved.
Price said bringing in the territorials could ease military pressures at times.
For example, when fulltime soldiers went into theatre the territorial forces could either fill spaces back at bases or could assist the soldiers.
"We can leverage off of their capabilities a lot easier," Price said.
Territorial forces member Staff Sergeant Keith Trethewey said it sometimes felt like they were not part of the army before, and the merger would help address those concerns.
"We would be out doing our own little thing.
"This puts us with the core unit, and it brings us into the fold."
Fellow territorial member Corporal Mike Clement said not being in one battalion had made it difficult to get people together for training.
"This is putting us back on level pegging, as we can now get the same training for everyone."
Bliss told the territorial forces they played an important part in military operations.
They had been posted in East Timor and to Christchurch in the wake of the earthquakes there. "We now get new skills and leadership, and can fill important gaps."
The same posting process is happening with territorial personnel based in the South Island.