The role of artillery is:
"to support other arms and
services by establishing such fire supremacy in the battle area
that the enemy can neither interfere with our operations nor effectively develop his
In carrying out this role we are required to provide
the firepower necessary to support the commanders' plan. We must be able to locate enemy
weapons and find targets to attack, and we must be able to find and hit aircraft as part
of the air defence system. Each of these jobs are covered by separate types of artillery
units under different branches. The branches of the RNZA are:
a. Field Branch.
This consists of all surface to surface artillery, whether equipped with guns, howitzers
or mortars (and missiles in larger armies). The main job of the field artillery is to help
the infantry and armour during attacks and in defence. Included in this role is the
requirement to fire directly at enemy tanks, known as the anti-tank role.
b. Locating Branch.
This is the term given to artillery units responsible for locating targets providing
information on the enemy, and for the provision of meteorological (weather), survey, and
c. Air Defence Branch.
The Air Defence Branch is the surface to air artillery, whether equipped with guns or
missiles. Their task is to shoot down enemy aircraft. In addition to the weapons
themselves it includes associated surveillance, tracking and guidance systems.
Although not currently a branch of the RNZA,
artillery also covers Coastal Branch Artillery. This branch consists of artillery units
whose primary role is to engage or assist in the engagement of enemy ships. This branch
has played a major role within the RNZA over the past century, and is an active branch in
many other armies to the present day. Locating Branch has recently been disbanded in
particular the Mortar Locating Radar. However information is still provided on
meteorological (weather) and survey.
The standard field branch artillery unit is the
Field Regiment. This consists primarily of a Regimental Headquarters, a Headquarters
Battery, field (or gun) Batteries, and a unit workshop. During peace time training, there
are six guns in each battery. When the Regiment goes to war it will go with six or eight
guns in each battery - this will increase the weight of fire which can be provided. In
outline the Regiment currently looks like this: