1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2009–10  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2010   
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Contents >> Defence >> Major operations 2008–09


In 2008-09 Defence continued to perform very well in a wide range of operations. This year, Defence was engaged in operations in East Timor, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and the Northern Indian Ocean, and maritime security operations in the South China Sea in support of regional security. In the Middle East, Defence contributed to coalition efforts in order to deny Afghanistan as a safe haven for terrorist groups and also supported the Multinational Force effort to develop a stable and secure environment in Iraq. In Africa, the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, and East Timor, Defence also supported United Nations Missions and our forces operated in the Gulf region and the Horn of Africa to counter the threat of piracy. Here at home, Defence assisted the civil authorities’ response to the devastating Victorian bushfires and floods in Queensland and New South Wales. Defence also provided personnel to support the Government’s intervention to assist Indigenous communities. Finally, Defence played a central role in protecting Australia’s borders and offshore maritime assets.

The Government has approved the deployment of approximately 3,300 ADF personnel to operations overseas and within Australia to protect Australia and its national interests. Additionally, approximately 500 ADF members are actively protecting Australia’s borders and offshore maritime interests.

Middle East

Operation Catalyst

Operation Catalyst was the Australian Government’s contribution to the stabilisation and rehabilitation of Iraq. The operation was completed, and all 35 ADF personnel embedded in Coalition Headquarters were withdrawn from Iraq by 30 July 2009.

Operation Kruger

Commencing in 2009, Operation Kruger supports the Australian Government’s relations with Iraq through the delivery of tailored security support to the diplomatic mission. It involves approximately 80 ADF personnel who serve in a security detachment. It is intended that this function will gradually transition to security services provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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 in the United Nations Headquarters.

Operation Palate II

Operation Palate II commenced in 2005 and is Australia’s contribution to the Military Liaison Officer position in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

Operation Slipper

Operation Slipper is Australia's contribution to the war against terrorism and the multinational maritime interception force in the Persian Gulf. The deployed forces consist of a Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force, Chinook helicopters and the Special Operations Task Group, who have provided ongoing reconstruction and rehabilitation work in Oruzgan Province in southern Afghanistan. This valuable work includes skills development and engineering projects and helps both to strengthen local capacity and to increase Afghan security. The ADF's ongoing commitment to Oruzgan is aimed at helping Afghanistan's government create a secure and stable environment.

Operation Mazurka

Operation Mazurka began in September 1982 and is Australia's contribution to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai. The MFO is a non-United Nations 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 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 11 unarmed United Nations 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 Anode

Operation Anode is the ADF contribution to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). The military contingent of RAMSI is supporting the Participating Police Force effort in maintaining law and order. The ADF leads the coalition military contribution to RAMSI and currently provides 143 predominantly ADF Reserve personnel to the operation.


Operation Astute

Operation Astute is the name for the ADF stabilisation operations in support of the Government of Timor-Leste and the United Nations Mission in East Timor. The ADF contributes approximately 660 personnel as part of the international Stabilisation Force (ISF). Apart from commanding the ISF, the ADF provides a Battle Group and an Aviation Group.

Operation Tower

Operation Tower is Australia's contribution to the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste, and consists of one staff officer and three military liaison officers.

Operation Azure

Operation Azure is Australia's contribution to the United Nations peacekeeping operation in Sudan. On 24 March 2005 the UN Security Council authorised the establishment of the United Nations Mission in Sudan under resolution 1590. Currently, 17 ADF personnel act as United Nations Headquarters staff, national support element staff or United Nations military observers.

Operation Hedgerow

Commencing in 2008, Operation Hedgerow is Australia’s contribution to the joint African Union/United Nations hybrid Mission in Darfur, Sudan. The ADF has eight personnel committed to this operation who serve as United Nations Headquarters staff or specialist officers. Currently there are no ADF members deployed to this mission.

Border protection

Operation Resolute

Operation Resolute commenced on 17 July 2006 as a consolidation of the majority of ADF border security operations. It is commanded by Border Protection Command (BPC), an interagency organisation led by Customs and Defence which includes Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Quarantine Inspection Service personnel. The BPC is responsible for coordinating and controlling Australia’s Offshore Maritime Security and brings together Defence, Customs and Australian Maritime Safety Authority assets in a whole-of- government surveillance and response effort.

Peacetime national tasks

Operation Padang Assist

Operation Padang Assist (October-November 2009) was the ADF’s month long mission to help those affected by a major earthquake that struck the Indonesian city of Padang.

PNG Assist II

In December 2008 PNG Assist II was conducted to support whole-of-government assistance to the Government of Papua New Guinea by providing relief materials and air transport to northern PNG, New Ireland and Manus following recent flooding and tidal surges. It involved the deployment of a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

Operation Gateway
Commencing in 1981, Operation Gateway conducts 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 Outreach

Operation Outreach was conducted from June 2007 - November 2008 to provide support to the whole-of-government support to Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. It involved provision of general support to the Northern Territory intervention, in particular support to community surveys, child health checks and installation of police workplace and custodial facilities. Support was largely provided by ADF Reserve Force units and personnel.

Operation VIC Fire Assist

During February and March 2009 the ADF provided support to the Victorian Government recovery efforts following the February 2009 Bushfires. 800 predominantly Reserve ADF personnel were deployed, including a Joint Task Force Headquarters, an Engineering Support Group and an AP-3C Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft fire spotting surveillance flights.

Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program

The Aboriginal Community Assistance Program is a cooperative between the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and the Army to improve environmental health conditions within remote Aboriginal communities. The program seeks to maximise benefits to Indigenous communities by focusing on projects that allow the Army to make best use of its construction and capability, by capitalising on the Army’s ability to holistically deliver a range of services to remote Indigenous communities that would not normally be available in a single project.

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