1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/02/2008   
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Contents >> Defence >> Operations


During 2006-07, the ADF was involved in military operations, the provision of humanitarian support to other nations, and various joint and combined exercises involving the three Services - Navy, Army and Air Force - and allied or regional military forces.

Operation Catalyst is the ADF's contribution to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Iraq. The ADF is part of a multinational force that is working to develop a secure and stable environment to assist national recovery.

Operation Slipper is the ADF's contribution to the international coalition against terrorism, and is an important component of the Australian Government's commitment to working with the international community to help prevent acts of terrorism around the world.

Operation Astute is the name for the ADF stabilisation operations in support of the Government of Timor-Leste.

The ADF continued to lead the military component of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), a multinational regional force which provides support to the Australian Federal Police and the regional police forces (known as the Participating Police Force) in maintaining the rule of law and stability in the country.

The ADF continues to undertake operations against illegal fishing and unauthorised boat arrivals in Australia's northern approaches under Operation Resolute.

Currently, the ADF has approximately 3,600 personnel deployed on operations around the world and a further 450 personnel involved in Border Protection operations. Map 6.1 shows areas of ADF involvement in major operations during 2006-07.

6.1 Australian Defence Force, Major operations - 2006-07
Diagram: 6.1 Australian Defence Force, Major operations—2006–07

Middle East

Operation Catalyst

Operation Catalyst is Australia's contribution to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Iraq. The ADF is participating in coalition efforts to develop a secure environment in Iraq and assist national recovery programs. During 2006-07 the ADF completed its task of supporting the Japanese Reconstruction Task Force at Al Muthanna and assumed a new role by forming Overwatch Battle Group (West), located in Tallil. The Overwatch Battle Group is continuing its work in the southern Iraqi provinces of Al Muthanna and Dhi Qar, the first two provinces to be transferred to provincial Iraqi control. The ADF's commitment to further assist the Coalition security effort is supported by the provision of an Australian Army Training Team - Iraq, which provides training and mentoring in support of the Iraqi Security Forces.

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 consisting of a Reconstruction Task Force, Chinook helicopters and the recent redeployment of the Special Operations Task Group 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 democratically elected 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 12 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 Ramp

Operation Ramp was the ADF operation in support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) led evacuation of Australians and approved foreign nationals from Lebanon in July 2006. From 17 July to 22 August 2006, the ADF supported DFAT in the evacuation of around 6,600 people. Approximately 120 ADF personnel were deployed to Lebanon, Cyprus and Turkey to assist with the evacuation and the eventual return of evacuees to Australia, as required.

Operation Quickstep

Operation Quickstep was the ADF response to the coup in Fiji and pro-democracy rioting in Tonga.


Towards the end of October 2006, the Australian Government directed the ADF be prepared to conduct an evacuation of Australians and approved foreign nationals from Suva, if required.

HMAS Kanimbla, with troops, helicopters and medical support personnel, departed Townsville on 2 November 2006 for Fiji. The ship remained outside Fijian territorial waters, and was joined there by HMAS Success and HMAS Newcastle. All ADF elements assigned to Operation Quickstep (Fiji) were withdrawn on 13 December 2006.


In response to riots in the Tongan Capital on 16 November 2006, the ADF provided an element to the New Zealand-led force assisting the Tongan Defence Services restore law and order in Nuku'alofa.

The ADF's contribution was drawn primarily from the 1st Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment and included around 30 infantry soldiers and 20 logistic and command personnel. The ADF elements assigned to Operation Quickstep (Tonga) were withdrawn on 28 November 2006 after the Tongan Defence Service confirmed it could carry out its security function without further assistance.

Operation Anode

Operation Anode is the ADF's contribution to RAMSI. The military contingent of RAMSI is supporting the Participating Police Force effort in maintaining law and order. As at June 2007, the military component numbered approximately 140 personnel which comprised a coalition headquarters and a company group. Since April 2007, the ADF military contingent has been provided by Army Reserve soldiers.

Operation Astute

Operation Astute is the name for the ADF stabilisation operations in support of the Government of Timor-Leste. As at June 2007, the Australian contingent included about 1,100 ADF personnel deployed in the Timor-Leste area of operations (sea, land, and air). The majority of these troops are actively engaged in security operations throughout the capital. They also provided logistic and security support for the presidential and parliamentary elections throughout Timor-Leste in April and June 2007 respectively.

Operation Tower

Operation Tower is Australia's contribution to the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste, and consists of four ADF personnel.


Operation Azure

Operation Azure is Australia's contribution to the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operation in Sudan. On 24 March 2005 the UN Security Council authorised the establishment of the UN Mission in Sudan under resolution 1590. Currently, Australia contributes nine Headquarters staff and six UN Military Observers.

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 Solomon Assist

Operation Solomon Assist provided humanitarian aid support to the people of the West Provinces in the Solomon Islands following the tsunami on 2 April 2007. The ADF contribution comprised approximately 25 medical personnel, support to civilian aid teams, and the transportation and distribution of tarpaulins, blankets, water purification and power generation equipment.

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