Line of Defence Magazine – Autumn 2023

Line of Defence Magazine - Digital Edition

Line of Defence Magazine

Kia ora and welcome to the Autumn 2023 issue of Line of Defence Magazine! Ongoing war in Ukraine, flooding and cyclone at home, economic pressures mounting, and a national election just months away, and we’re only one quarter into the calendar year!

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In this 27th issue of Line of Defence we continue our new addition to the magazine – the Aerospace section – with an excellent brief on intellectual property for space startups from Rotoiti’s Dr Nicholas Borroz, and the latest spaceplane milestone achieved by Dawn Aerospace.

In Defence, with Cyclone Gabrielle and flooding devastating large tracts of the North Island, disaster response is a key theme.

General Atomics Aeronautical makes the case for the long-range, long-endurance MQ-9B SeaGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft System’s humanitarian assistance and disaster response capability. SeaGuardian’s ability to provide lengthy time on-station could prove extremely valuable to first responders and save lives.

Featured contributor Dr Wayne Mapp writes that Cyclone Gabrielle has highlighted the need for action on a range of big-ticket personnel and equipment issues, and a quicker paced Defence Review would help. With the Australian Army about to sell their version of the NH90, is this an ideal opportunity to bolster the RNZAF’s lift capability?

With the NZDF and a range of government agencies delivering an all-of-government response to the devastation wrought by the cyclone, we feature volunteer organisation Taskforce Kiwi. Since February, TFK’s teams have completed over 4,000 hours of skilled volunteer work, the equivalent of 500 workdays, assisting worst-hit communities.

Also in Defence, we are delighted to be welcoming NZDF CIO Carl Nixon as a contributor to the magazine. The days of a separate frontline and back office are gone, writes AIRCDRE Nixon. In both peace and conflict, and the grey zone in between, the Defence Force is exploiting a digital ecosystem to deliver domain mastery.

In International Security Inside this issue, I play devil’s advocate in relation to the demonising of Chinese branded CCTV cameras, picking holes in the hawkish narratives that are pushing Five Eyes governments to curb their use of hitherto trusted brands. We’re being fed science fiction stories about Beijing backdoors, and it’s become apparent that we’re having difficulty sorting fact from fiction.

In Homeland Security, we feature the insights of Professors Paul Spoonley and Paul Morris on the underpinnings of far right ideology in New Zealand, and we explore the recent launch of NZ Police’s Tactical Response Model – will it make communities safer?

If you haven’t already, consider subscribing to our twice-weekly eNewsletter THE BRIEF. It’s a great way to keep up-to-date with the latest. Details are on the Defsec website.

Nicholas Dynon, Auckland.