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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Defence

MAJOR OPERATIONS 2010–11

In 2010–11, Defence was engaged in a wide range of operations, including:

  • operations in East Timor, Solomon Islands and the northern Indian Ocean
  • maritime security operations in the South China Sea in support of regional security
  • contributions to coalition efforts to deny Afghanistan as a safe haven for terrorist groups
  • operations in the Gulf region and the Horn of Africa to counter the threat of piracy
  • support of United Nations missions in Africa, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific
  • support to Pakistan as a result of widespread flooding and to Japan following a devastating earthquake and tsunami
  • support to New Zealand following a tragic earthquake in Christchurch and a mining disaster in Pike River
  • assistance to Australian civil authorities’ response to the devastating floods in Queensland and Victoria and the cyclone in North Queensland, and
  • protection of Australia’s borders and offshore maritime assets.


MIDDLE EAST

Operation Paladin

Operation Paladin commenced in June 1956 and is Australia's ongoing contribution to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation in the Middle East. The ADF contributes 12 unarmed UN Military Observers who supervise, observe and report on the various cease-fire arrangements, truces and peace treaties that have been negotiated between Israel and neighbouring Arab nations since 1948.

Operation Mazurka

Operation Mazurka commenced in September 1982 and is Australia's contribution to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai. The MFO is a non-UN organisation established in 1981 to oversee the Camp David Accords of 1978 and the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty of 1979. The ADF contributes 25 personnel to the Multinational Force Headquarters.

Operation Slipper

Commencing in 2001, Operation Slipper is Australia's contribution to the war against terrorism and the multinational maritime interception force in the Persian Gulf. Operation Slipper represents the most significant operation for Defence and the Government, with around 1,550 ADF personnel based in Afghanistan and about 800 personnel deployed across the broader Middle East Area of Operations. The deployed forces include the Mentoring Task Force, the Rotary Wing Group and the Special Operations Task Group. They have provided ongoing reconstruction and rehabilitation work in Uruzgan Province in southern Afghanistan.

During 2010–11, the ADF maintained its focus on population protection operations to remain aligned with International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operational priorities. The principal goal of the ADF effort in Afghanistan is to provide the Afghan security forces with the capability to take lead responsibility for the security of their country. To this end, the ADF has continued to mentor the Afghan National Army’s 4th Brigade of the 205th (Hero) Corps, so that it can assume responsibility for security in Uruzgan Province.

The ADF also maintains a Navy frigate, which operates in the Arabian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden, in support of counter-terrorism, maritime security and counter-piracy operations.

Operation Palate II

Operation Palate II commenced in 2005 and is Australia’s contribution to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. Two ADF personnel serve as military advisors, one in Kabul and the other in Kandahar.

Operation Riverbank

Operation Riverbank commenced in 2008 and is Australia’s contribution to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. Two ADF personnel serve as military advisors, one at the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, as the Senior Military Advisor to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and the other in Kirkuk.

Operation Kruger

Commencing in 2009, Operation Kruger supported the Australian Government’s relations with Iraq through the delivery of tailored security support to the diplomatic mission. It involved approximately 17 ADF personnel who served in the final security detachment. This security function transitioned in August 2011 to security services provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Operation Kruger ceased once this handover was in effect.

PACIFIC

Operation Solania

Commencing in 1988, Operation Solania is the ongoing maritime surveillance operation to support the Pacific island nations in fisheries law enforcement. The ADF conducts four dedicated aerial operations per year utilising a P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft for maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tasking. Navy vessels transiting through the Operation Solania Area of Operations are also assigned to support the operation. Ten Navy ship deployments provided reporting to Operation Solania during 2010–11.

Operation Anode

Commencing in 2003, Operation Anode is the ADF contribution to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The military contingent of RAMSI supports the mission by acting as a deterrent to destabilising elements, thus maintaining a stable environment for the implementation of capacity-building programs. The ADF leads the coalition military contribution to RAMSI and currently provides about 110, predominantly reserve, personnel to the operation. New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga also contribute to the military contingent.

Operation Render Safe

Operation Render Safe commenced in 2009 and provides explosive ordnance disposal support to south-west Pacific island nations for the disposal of unexploded ordnance and explosive remnants from World War II. Joint task forces have deployed to Nauru in October 2010, Solomon Islands in November 2010, Vanuatu during January to February 2011, and Papua New Guinea, first in Rabaul, from October to November 2011, and then on the Kokoda Track in October 2011.

EAST TIMOR

Operation Astute

Operation Astute, which commenced in 2006, is the name for the ADF stabilisation operations in support of the Government of Timor-Leste (East Timor) and the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). The ADF contributes approximately 400 personnel as part of the International Stabilisation Force (ISF). In 2011, UNMIT handed over responsibility for internal security to the East Timorese police service, the Policia National de Timor-Leste (PNTL). The ISF supports the East Timor security sector by being prepared to respond to incidents beyond the capabilities of the PNTL and other Timor-Leste forces.

The ADF provides the Commander of the ISF and most of the ISF Headquarters, as well as an infantry company group, an aviation group, a combat service support group and a force communications element. Most of the infantry company group and many in ISF Headquarters are ADF reservists. New Zealand contributes the balance of the ISF.

Operation Tower

Also commencing in 2006, Operation Tower is Australia's contribution to the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste, and consists of military liaison officers in Dili and Oecussi, as well as the Operations Officer of the Military Liaison Group and the Deputy Chief of the Joint Mission Analysis Centre in Dili.

SUDAN

Operation Azure

Operation Azure commenced in 2005 and was Australia's contribution to the UN peacekeeping operation in Sudan. Seventeen ADF personnel served as UN Headquarters staff, national support element staff and UN military observers during the operation. The UN mandate for peacekeeping operations in Sudan expired in July 2011 and ADF personnel moved across to the UN Mission in South Sudan under Operation Aslan.

Operation Hedgerow

Commencing in 2008, Operation Hedgerow was Australia’s contribution to the joint African Union/UN hybrid mission in Darfur, Sudan. ADF personnel served as headquarters staff or specialist officers. No ADF personnel were deployed from August 2009 due to delays in the issue of visas by the Government of Sudan. This operation formally ceased in July 2011.

Operation Aslan

Operation Aslan formally began on 23 September 2011 and is Australia’s contribution to the UN peacekeeping operation in the Republic of South Sudan. On 9 July 2011, and following a UN Security Council Resolution, the Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest nation. The UN Mission in South Sudan was established to support peace and security, and to help establish conditions for development in the country. The Australian Government authorised a contribution of up to 25 ADF personnel to this operation. ADF personnel serve in the UN Headquarters in Juba, deploy into the field as UN Military Liaison Officers and support the mission in the National Support Element based in Juba.

BORDER PROTECTION

Operation Resolute

Operation Resolute is the ADF’s contribution to Border Protection Command, the whole-of-Government effort to protect Australia’s borders and offshore maritime interests. It is the only ADF operation that currently defends the maritime domain of homeland Australia and its assets. The operation commenced on 17 July 2006 and consolidates previous ADF operations including Operation Relex II (suspected illegal entry vessels), Operation Cranberry (illegal fishing and smuggling), Operations Celeste and Mistral (patrols of Australia's southern ocean) and patrols protecting Australia's oil and gas infrastructure.

The Operation Resolute area of operations covers approximately 10% of the Earth’s surface and includes Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone, which extends up to 200 nautical miles around the mainland, as well as Christmas, Cocos, Keeling, Norfolk, Heard, Macquarie and Lord Howe Islands. At any one time, up to 550 ADF personnel at sea, in the air and on the land, are participating in Operation Resolute, working alongside personnel from Customs and other agencies.

PEACETIME TASKS

Operation Gateway

Commencing in 1981, Operation Gateway is the ADF conduct of northern Indian Ocean and South China Sea maritime surveillance patrols. Australia contributes one P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft for four patrols per year.

Operation Pakistan Assist II

Between August and November 2010, the ADF contributed to an AusAID-led whole-of-Government humanitarian aid response to the devastating floods in Pakistan. An Australian Medical Task Force, totalling about 180 personnel, was deployed to Pakistan and treated just over 11,000 local patients over the period of the operation. It also provided over 3,000 families with essential relief items and supplied 1.2 million litres of purified water to the community of Kot Addu.


August 2010 – Personnel prepare for the long flight on board the C-17 Globemaster at RAAF Base Amberley shortly before leaving for Pakistan. Operation PAKISTAN ASSIST II.
August 2010 – Personnel prepare for the long flight on board the C-17 Globemaster at RAAF Base Amberley shortly before leaving for Pakistan. AusAID and ADF specialist medical and engineering personnel as well as aid and emergency stores are to deploy via C-17 to provide emergency medical and health support to the victims of the Pakistan floods (Operation Pakistan Assist II). Photograph by Lance Corporal Dan Pinhorn.


Assistance to Pike River Mine rescue, New Zealand

In November 2010, assistance was provided to the New Zealand authorities in support of the Pike River mine rescue, including air logistics support in the form of C-130 transport aircraft to move specialist mining equipment from Perth to New Zealand.

Assistance to Victorian floods

In January and February 2011, there was widespread heavy rain across the west and north-west of Victoria, producing flooding in many river systems. Defence responded to this crisis through the delivery of sandbags, general support tasks, the conduct of widespread rapid impact assessments and helicopter support. Over 250 ADF personnel provided assistance to affected communities in Victoria.

Operation Queensland Flood Assist

During December 2010 to February 2011, a joint task force was established to command and control nearly 2,000 ADF personnel who assisted communities in Southern Queensland, following severe flooding. The task force fielded a wide range of capabilities including aviation, engineering, supply, general support and specialist support elements to conduct crisis response operations in support of the civil response agencies.


January 2011 – Local residents board a Sea King helicopter at the Laidley sports ground for transfer to Laidley hospital to escape rising flood waters. Operation QUEENSLAND FLOOD ASSIST.
January 2011 – Local residents board a Sea King helicopter at the Laidley sports ground for transfer to Laidley hospital to escape rising flood waters (Operation Queensland Flood Assist). Photograph by Petty Officer Damian Pawlenko.

January 2011 –  Parked in the town of Grantham is a line of Army Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles. Operation QUEENSLAND FLOOD ASSIST.

January 2011 – Parked in the town of Grantham is a line of Army Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles. Soldiers from 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (RAR), and engineers from the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment (CER), based at Gallipoli Barracks in Enoggera, began operations in the disaster affected area of Grantham in South-East Queensland (Operation Queensland Flood Assist). Photograph by Petty Officer Damian Pawlenko.


Operation Yasi Assist

During February 2011, a threat to northern Queensland communities developed in the form of severe tropical cyclone Yasi. In response, Defence established a joint task force, to command and control the deployment of 1,200 personnel to assist the Queensland community in preparing for, and countering the effects of, the tropical cyclone.



February 2011 –  Queensland Health members prepare patients for loading on board an Air Force C-130 Hercules at Cairns Airport. Operation YASI ASSIST.
February 2011 – Queensland Health members prepare patients for loading on board an Air Force C-130 Hercules at Cairns Airport. On the evening of Tuesday 1 February 2011, Air Force conducted aero-medical evacuation flights from Cairns to Brisbane ahead of the impending arrival of Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasi in northern Queensland (Operation YASI assist). Photograph by LAC Philip Sharpe.


Defence Supplementation Staff to Egypt

In February 2011, Defence provided support to the Head of the Australian Mission in Cairo during the civil unrest associated with the change of government in Egypt. Three ADF personnel were deployed to Cairo to assist the Head of the Australian Mission with the evacuation of Australian nationals from Egypt during the civil unrest. As the requirement for ADF support grew, the team was expanded to seven personnel.

Operation Christchurch Assist

Between February and March 2011, a joint task force was established as a part of a whole-of-Government effort to assist the Government of New Zealand following the Christchurch earthquake. The task force provided air logistics support to transport the urban search and rescue teams and their equipment to and from Christchurch, to facilitate the delivery of a civilian water purification system, and to evacuate Australian nationals seeking repatriation to Australia.

Operation Pacific Assist

In March 2011, Defence contributed to the whole-of-Government effort to support Japan, following a devastating earthquake and tsunami. The ADF provided air logistics support to transport urban search and rescue teams, and specialist remote fire-fighting equipment, as well as assist the internal air movement of Japanese Self-Defense Force personnel within Japan.

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.


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