Collective Training

Army on endurance run. Soldiers conduct battle fitness training Waiouru. WN-06-0015-25.

Soldiers reviewing mapping locations.

Collective training is part of the Army training cycle, which is a cumulative activity, each phase building on the last. The two-year training cycle usually begins with units focusing on individual skills (although typically individual training continues throughout the cycle). It then moves to integration of individual training outputs into collective unit training, and culminates with integration of unit collective training outputs into formation level collective training.

Individual training provides individuals with military and trade or professional skills, but acquisition of such skills does not equate with operational preparedness. Individual training is only a building block. It must be integrated with collective training to be translated from skills to operational preparedness.

For units deployed on operations the need for collective training is even more imperative. 

Collective training takes place at a variety of levels and in a variety of ways, including:

  • unit and sub-unit exercises
  • Formation exercises
  • major land exercises.

Collective pre-deployment training

Sub-unit and unit collective training is conducted in the form of exercises. Where these form part of the training cycle, the training is designed to practice activities the sub-unit or unit is required to contribute to its formation.

Sometimes collective training practices group skills that contribute to required outputs, but in an applied setting. For example, a field engineer troop may practice trade skills maintaining Department of Conservation infrastructure in a national park. Alternatively, a signals troop might practice their trade skills providing communications support to a local or national sporting activity.

Sub-units and units are the building blocks of groupings of larger multi-functional groups called formations. Formation headquarters oversee unit collective training and conduct formation collective training as the culmination of the two-year training cycle.

Formation collective training can take the form of either a field exercise or a command post exercise where the formation exercises its own and its units' headquarters using a hypothetical scenario and computer-based war gaming.

Parallel to the training cycle outlined above, major land exercises take place within the Major Exercise Programme (MEP).

The MEP consists mainly of combined and joint exercises. Combined exercises involve forces from NZ and at least one other country. Joint exercises involve units from across the three services, namely Navy, Army, Air Force.

Activities within the MEP can take many forms. For example:

  • Exchanges of individual personnel with allies, including Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
  • Exchanges of sub-units with allies, including Australia, Singapore and Malaysia.
  • Deployments of sub-units to Australia, SW-Pacific and SE-Asia.
  • Command Post Exercises in Australia and SE-Asia.

Although collective training as a whole is ultimately designed to prepare units for operations, collective training for specific operations also takes place. This is known as pre-deployment training. Collective pre-deployment training consists of concentration of the contingent in one place prior to deployment for intensive training in activities, which are expected to be required during the deployment.

This page was last amended on 18 March 2015