1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2004  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2004   
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Contents >> Defence >> Operations

During the past year, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has been involved in military operations, the provision of emergency and non-emergency support to the Australian community, overseas deployments and various joint and combined exercises involving the three Services and allied or regional military forces. In addition to Australia’s continued involvement in the war on terror and in the United Nations Mission in East Timor, Australia faces new challenges in the region, such as contributing to stability in the Solomon Islands. The ADF continues to undertake operations against illegal fishing and unauthorised boat arrivals in Australia’s northern approaches.

Currently, Australia has approximately 3,800 personnel deployed on more than 10 operations, including border protection activities, United Nations operations, coalition operations and third country deployments. Details of ADF involvement in ongoing operations are given in table 4.1.

4.1 AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE, Major operations(a)

Operation CatalystOperation Catalyst is Australia's contribution to the rehabilitation of Iraq. The Government adjusted Australia's military commitment to Iraq as coalition operations changed from offensive combat operations to stabilisation and recovery operations. The ADF is participating in coalition efforts to develop a secure environment in Iraq, assist national recovery programs and facilitate the transition to Iraqi self-government. Operation Catalyst comprises approximately 800 personnel. Operation Catalyst follows Operations Bastille and Falconer which involved up to 2,000 Australian personnel.
Operation PaladinOperation Paladin is Australia's contribution to the UN Truce Supervision Organisation. The UN Truce Supervision Organisation was established in 1948 to supervise the truce agreed at the conclusion of the first Arab-Israeli War and operates in Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. Australian personnel have been part of this mission since its inception. ADF personnel act as unarmed military observers at headquarters in Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Southern Lebanon and Gaza. The current ADF commitment is 12 personnel.
Operation OsierOperation Osier is Australia's contribution to the NATO-led, United Nations mandated Yugoslavia Security Force and Kosovo Force. Eight ADF personnel are currently employed with UK forces in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo. ADF personnel are fully integrated with British units and gain significant experience in peacekeeping operations. These personnel provide specialist advice on logistics, engineering, artillery, operational planning and civil-military cooperation projects.
Operation MazurkaOperation Mazurka is Australia's contribution to the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai. The Multinational Force and Observers was established in 1981 to oversee the Camp David Accords of 1978 and the Egypt/Israel Peace Treaty of 1979. There are 25 Australians who assist in the peace process by monitoring the border, preparing daily operational briefings and providing physical training and support to the Multinational Force and Observers headquarters. Contributing countries include Canada, Colombia, Fiji, France, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, the United States and Uruguay.
Operation PomeloAustralia contributes two Army officers to the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea to assist the Governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea in their agreement to cease hostilities and enforce the newly agreed border between the two nations. Of the 45 contributing nations, Australian personnel work mainly with troops from Ireland and India. They provide specialist engineering advice regarding de-mining and construction.
Operation PalateFollowing the ADF's significant and successful role in Afghanistan as part of the international coalition against terrorism, the ADF has deployed a Lieutenant Colonel as a military liaison officer to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. The mission integrates all UN activities in Afghanistan and focuses on rebuilding Afghanistan’s institutions.
Operation MistralThe ADF supports Coastwatch and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority by providing support to the civil agencies enforcing Australian sovereign rights and fisheries laws in the Southern Ocean. Military patrols are regularly undertaken in support of these civil authorities. A number of foreign fishing vessels have been apprehended successfully with millions of dollars of illegal catch on board.
Operation Relex IIThis ADF operation contributes to the whole-of-government program to detect, intercept and deter vessels carrying unauthorised arrivals from entering Australia through the north-west maritime approaches. Operation Relex II includes Navy, Army and Air Force units, supported by Coastwatch and Customs.
Operation CitadelAustralia contributes about 1,000 personnel to the UN Mission in Support of East Timor (UNMISET). UNMISET was established in October 2000 and implemented on East Timor's Independence Day, 20 May 2002. Australia provides around 25% of the peacekeeping force, including an infantry battalion group incorporating an infantry company from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, headquarters personnel and UN military observers. The UN mandate for UNMISET will run until 2004.
Operation CranberryThe sea, air and land surveillance program in northern Australia, in support of civil agencies such as Coastwatch and Customs, is to detect illegal activity such as smuggling and illegal fishing. It is undertaken primarily by Royal Australian Navy Fremantle-class patrol boats and Army Reserve personnel from Regional Force Surveillance Units.
Operation Bel Isi IIOperation Bel Isi II was Australia's contribution to the Peace Monitoring Group in Bougainville. The ADF contingent ceased operations on 30 June 2003 and redeployed back to Australia by the end of August 2003. Responsibility for Australia's continued support to the Bougainville peace process has been handed over to the Bougainville Transition Team, which is led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Operation AnodeOperation Anode is the ADF's contribution to the Australian-led regional assistance mission to the Solomon Islands, known as Operation Helpem Fren. The Australian contribution to the multinational stabilisation force comprises about 1,500 Australian Defence Force personnel, 155 Australian Federal Police and 90 personnel from the Australian Protective Service. Military personnel from Australia, Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea provide security for police assisting the Solomon Islands Government to restore law and order. They also help with logistic and operational support.

(a) Correct as at 31 October 2003.
Source: Department of Defence.

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