Australian Defence Force

Australian Defence Force

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The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is the military organisation
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

 responsible for the defence of Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. It consists of the Royal Australian Navy
Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Australian Navy is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force: the Commonwealth Naval Forces...

 (RAN), Australian Army
Australian Army
The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. It is part of the Australian Defence Force along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. While the Chief of Defence commands the Australian Defence Force , the Army is commanded by the Chief of Army...

, Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
The Royal Australian Air Force is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF was formed in March 1921. It continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps , which was formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts...

 (RAAF) and a number of 'tri-service' units. The ADF has a strength of just under 81,000 full-time personnel and active reservists
Military reserve force
A military reserve force is a military organization composed of citizens of a country who combine a military role or career with a civilian career. They are not normally kept under arms and their main role is to be available to fight when a nation mobilizes for total war or to defend against invasion...

, and is supported by the Department of Defence
Department of Defence (Australia)
The Australian Department of Defence is a Federal Government Department. It forms part of the Australian Defence Organisation along with the Australian Defence Force . The Defence mission is to defend Australia and its national interests...

 and several other civilian agencies.

During the first decades of the 20th century, the Australian Government
Government of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a federal constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement among six self-governing British colonies, which became the six states...

 established the armed services as separate organisations. Each service had an independent chain of command
Chain of Command
Chain of Command may refer to:* Chain of command, in a military context, the line of authority and responsibility along which orders are passed* "Chain of Command" , the fifth episode of the first season of Beast Wars...

. In 1976, the government made a strategic change and established the ADF to place the services under a single headquarters. Over time, the degree of integration has increased and tri-service headquarters, logistics and training institutions have supplanted many single-service establishments.

The ADF is technologically sophisticated but relatively small. Although the ADF's 59,023 full-time active-duty personnel, 21,850 active reserves
Military reserve force
A military reserve force is a military organization composed of citizens of a country who combine a military role or career with a civilian career. They are not normally kept under arms and their main role is to be available to fight when a nation mobilizes for total war or to defend against invasion...

 and 22,166 standby reserves make it the largest military in Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

, it is still smaller than most Asian militaries. Nonetheless, the ADF is supported by a significant budget by worldwide standards and is able to deploy forces in multiple locations outside Australia.

Legal standing


The ADF's legal standing draws on the executive government sections of the Australian Constitution. Section 51(vi) gives the Commonwealth Government
Government of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a federal constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement among six self-governing British colonies, which became the six states...

 the power to make laws regarding Australia's defence and defence forces. Section 114 of the Constitution prevents the States from raising armed forces without the permission of the Commonwealth and Section 119 gives the Commonwealth responsibility for defending Australia from invasion and sets out the conditions under which the government can deploy the defence force domestically.

Section 68 of the Constitution sets out the ADF's command arrangements. The Section states that "the command in chief of the naval and military forces of the Commonwealth is vested in the Governor-General
Governor-General of Australia
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative in Australia at federal/national level of the Australian monarch . He or she exercises the supreme executive power of the Commonwealth...

 as the Queen's
Monarchy in Australia
The Monarchy of Australia is a form of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign of Australia. The monarchy is a constitutional one modelled on the Westminster style of parliamentary government, incorporating features unique to the Constitution of Australia.The present monarch is...

 representative". In practice, however, the Governor-General does not play an active part in the ADF's command structure, and the elected Australian Government
Government of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a federal constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement among six self-governing British colonies, which became the six states...

 controls the ADF. The Minister for Defence
Minister for Defence (Australia)
The Minister for Defence of Australia administers his portfolio through the Australian Defence Organisation, which comprises the Department of Defence and the Australian Defence Force. Stephen Smith is the current Minister.-Ministers for Defence:...

 and several subordinate ministers exercise this control
Civilian control of the military
Civilian control of the military is a doctrine in military and political science that places ultimate responsibility for a country's strategic decision-making in the hands of the civilian political leadership, rather than professional military officers. One author, paraphrasing Samuel P...

. The Minister acts on most matters alone, though the National Security Committee of Cabinet (NSC) considers important matters. The Minister then advises the Governor-General who acts as advised in the normal form of executive government.

Current priorities


The Australian Government's defence policies are guided by the white paper
White paper
A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions, and are often requested and used in politics, policy, business, and technical fields. In commercial use, the term has also come to refer to...

 Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030
Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030
Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030 is an Australian Government white paper released on 2 May 2009. The publication seeks to provide guidance for Australia's defence policy and the Australian Defence Force during the period 2009–2030.-Background:In 2000, the then Coalition...

, which was released in 2009. The white paper argued that Australia's strategic environment is likely to become more complex and uncertain due to the changing relationships between nations in the Asia-Pacific
Asia-Pacific
Asia-Pacific or Asia Pacific is the part of the world in or near the Western Pacific Ocean...

 region. In response to this, it set out a policy of increasing the ADF's capabilities over the period to 2030. This includes significantly expanding the ADF's maritime capabilities, improving the firepower of Army units and equipping the RAAF with modern and more capable aircraft. The ADF's communication, intelligence and logistics capabilities are also to be improved. The current government has committed to producing new defence white papers "at intervals of no greater than five years" so that changes to Australia's strategic environment are taken into account during defence planning. The next white paper is planned to be released in 2014.

Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030 identifies Australia's strategic objectives and the ADF capabilities which are necessary for these to be met. It states that "Australia's most basic strategic interest remains the defence of Australia against direct armed attack". In order to accomplish this, the ADF needs to be capable of dominating the air and sea approaches to Australia, which includes defending the country's sea lanes and infrastructure. The next most important priority is identified as "the security, stability and cohesion of our immediate neighbourhood, which we share with Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

, East Timor
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and the South Pacific island states". This includes ensuring that the ADF is capable of intervening in these countries to protect Australian citizens, providing humanitarian assistance and, if necessary, stabilising countries at risk of becoming failed state
Failed state
The term failed state is often used by political commentators and journalists to describe a state perceived as having failed at some of the basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government...

s. The third most important priority identified in the white paper is contributing to "the stability of the wider
Asia-Pacific region" and particularly Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

. This requires that the ADF be able of assisting countries in the region to respond to threats to their security, including in cooperation with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Such assistance may include the deployment of large Australian military forces. The fourth priority set out is "preserving an international order that restrains aggression by states against each other, and can effectively manage other risks and threats". This requires that the ADF be able to contribute limited forces to operations throughout the world.

History



Formation of the Australian Defence Force



Australia has maintained military forces since federation as a nation
Federation of Australia
The Federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia formed one nation...

 in January 1901. Shortly after Federation, the Australian Government established the Australian Army
Australian Army
The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. It is part of the Australian Defence Force along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. While the Chief of Defence commands the Australian Defence Force , the Army is commanded by the Chief of Army...

 and Commonwealth Naval Force by amalgamating the forces each of the states had maintained. In 1911, the Government established the Royal Australian Navy
Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Australian Navy is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force: the Commonwealth Naval Forces...

, which absorbed the Commonwealth Naval Force. The Army established the Australian Flying Corps in 1912 although this separated to form the Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
The Royal Australian Air Force is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF was formed in March 1921. It continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps , which was formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts...

 in 1921. The services were not linked by a single chain of command, as they each reported to their own separate Minister and had separate administrative arrangements. The three services saw action around the world during World War I
Military history of Australia during World War I
In Australia, the outbreak of World War I was greeted with considerable enthusiasm. Even before Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914, the nation pledged its support for the Empire alongside other Commonwealth nations and almost immediately began preparations to send forces overseas to...

 and World War II
Military history of Australia during World War II
Australia entered World War II shortly after the invasion of Poland, declaring war on Germany on 3 September 1939. By the end of the war, almost a million Australians had served in the armed forces, whose military units fought primarily in the European theatre, North African campaign, and...

, and took part in conflicts in Asia during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

.

The importance of 'joint' warfare
Joint warfare
Joint warfare is a military doctrine which places priority on the integration of the various service branches of a state's armed forces into one unified command...

 was made clear to the Australian Military during World War II when Australian naval, ground and air units frequently served as part of single commands. Following the war, several senior officers lobbied for the appointment of a commander in chief of the three services. The government rejected this proposal and the three services remained fully independent. The absence of a central authority resulted in poor coordination between the services, with each service organising and operating on the basis of a different military doctrine
Military doctrine
Military doctrine is the concise expression of how military forces contribute to campaigns, major operations, battles, and engagements.It is a guide to action, not hard and fast rules. Doctrine provides a common frame of reference across the military...

.

The need for an integrated command structure received more emphasis as a result of the inefficient arrangements which at times hindered the military's efforts during the Vietnam War
Military history of Australia during the Vietnam War
Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War began as a small commitment of 30 men in 1962, and increased over the following decade to a peak of 7,672 Australians deployed in South Vietnam or in support of Australian forces there. The Vietnam War was the longest and most controversial war Australia...

. In 1973, the Secretary of the Department of Defence
Department of Defence (Australia)
The Australian Department of Defence is a Federal Government Department. It forms part of the Australian Defence Organisation along with the Australian Defence Force . The Defence mission is to defend Australia and its national interests...

, Arthur Tange
Arthur Tange
Sir Arthur Harold Tange AC, CBE was a prominent Australian senior public servant of the middle to late 20th century....

, submitted a report to the Government
Government of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a federal constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement among six self-governing British colonies, which became the six states...

 that recommended the unification of the separate departments supporting each service into a single Department of Defence and the creation of the post of Chief of the Defence Force Staff. The government accepted these recommendations and the Australian Defence Force was established on 9 February 1976.

Defence of Australia era



Until the 1970s, Australia's military strategy centred on the concept of 'forward defence', in which the role of the Australian military was to cooperate with allied forces to counter threats in Australia's region. In 1969, when the United States began the Guam Doctrine and the British withdrew 'east of Suez
East of Suez
The phrase East of Suez is used in British military and political discussions in reference to imperial interests beyond the European theatre ....

', Australia developed a defence policy emphasising self-reliance of the Australian continent. This was known as the Defence of Australia Policy
Defence of Australia Policy
The Defence of Australia Policy was Australia's dominant defence policy between 1972 and 1997. The policy was focused on the defence of continental Australia against external attack...

. Under this policy, the focus of Australian defence planning was to protect Australia's northern maritime approaches (the sea-air gap) against enemy attack. In line with this goal, the ADF was restructured to increase its ability to strike at enemy forces from Australian bases and to counter raids on continental Australia. The ADF achieved this by increasing the capabilities of the RAN and RAAF and relocating regular Army units to northern Australia
Northern Australia
The term northern Australia is generally known to include two State and Territories, being Queensland and the Northern Territory . The part of Western Australia north of latitude 26° south—a definition widely used in law and State government policy—is also usually included...

.

At this time, the ADF had no military units on operational deployment outside Australia. In 1987, the ADF made its first operational deployment as part of Operation Morris Dance
Operation Morris Dance
Operation Morris Dance was an Australian military operation conducted in May 1987 in response to the first of the 1987 Fijian coups d'état.On the morning of 14 May 1987 the Military of Fiji took control of the country in a bloodless coup d'état. In response to the coup the Australian Defence Force ...

, in which several warships and a rifle company deployed to the waters off Fiji
Fiji
Fiji , officially the Republic of Fiji , is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about northeast of New Zealand's North Island...

 in response to the 1987 Fijian coups d'état. While broadly successful, this deployment highlighted the need for the ADF to improve its capability to rapidly respond to unforeseen events.

Since the late 1980s, the Government has increasingly called upon the ADF to contribute forces to peacekeeping missions around the world. While most of these deployments involved only small numbers of specialists, several led to the deployment of hundreds of personnel. Large peacekeeping deployments were made to Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

 in early 1989, Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

 between 1992 and 1993, Somalia
Operation Solace
Operation Solace was the Australian Defence Force's main contribution to the Unified Task Force which was a United States led, United Nations sanctioned, multinational force which operated in the Republic of Somalia from 9 December 1992 to 4 May 1993...

 in 1993, Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

 between 1994 and 1995 and Bougainville
Bougainville Province
The Autonomous Region of Bougainville, previously known as North Solomons, is an autonomous region in Papua New Guinea. The largest island is Bougainville Island , and the province also includes the island of Buka and assorted outlying islands including the Carterets...

 in 1994 and from 1997 onwards.

The Australian contribution to the 1991 Gulf War
Australian contribution to the 1991 Gulf War
Australia was a member of the international coalition which contributed military forces to the 1991 Gulf War, also known as Operation Desert Storm. While the Australian forces did not see combat, they did play a significant role in enforcing the sanctions put in place against Iraq following the...

 was the first time Australian personnel were deployed to an active war zone since the establishment of the ADF. Although the warships and clearance diving team
Clearance Diving Team (RAN)
The Clearance Diving Teams of the Royal Australian Navy also act as commando frogmen: they consist of naval personnel who are qualified in diving, demolitions, underwater repairs, and reconnaissance...

 deployed to the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 did not see combat, the deployment tested the ADF's capabilities and command structure. Following the war the Navy regularly deployed a frigate to the Persian Gulf or Red Sea to enforce the trade sanctions imposed on Iraq
Iraq sanctions
The Iraq sanctions were a near-total financial and trade embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council on the nation of Iraq. They began August 6, 1990, four days after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, stayed largely in force until May 2003 , and certain portions including reparations to Kuwait...

.

East Timor and after



In 1996, John Howard
John Howard
John Winston Howard AC, SSI, was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia, from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007. He was the second-longest serving Australian Prime Minister after Sir Robert Menzies....

 led the Liberal Party's
Liberal Party of Australia
The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Founded a year after the 1943 federal election to replace the United Australia Party, the centre-right Liberal Party typically competes with the centre-left Australian Labor Party for political office...

 election campaign and became Prime Minister. Subsequently, there were significant reforms to the ADF's force structure and role. The new government's defence strategy placed less emphasis on defending Australia from direct attack and greater emphasis on working in cooperation with regional states and Australia's allies
Foreign relations of Australia
The foreign relations of Australia have spanned from the country's time as Dominion and later Realm of the Commonwealth to become steadfastly allied with New Zealand through long-standing ANZAC ties dating back to the early 1900s, and the United States throughout the Cold War, to its engagement...

 to manage potential security threats. From 1997 the Government also implemented a series of changes to the ADF's force structure in an attempt to increase the proportion of combat units to support units and improve the ADF's combat effectiveness.

The ADF's experiences during the deployment to East Timor in 1999 led to significant changes in Australia's defence policies and to an enhancement of the ADF's ability to conduct operations outside Australia. This successful deployment was the first time a large Australian military force had operated outside of Australia since the Vietnam War and revealed shortcomings in the ADF's ability to mount and sustain such operations.

In 2000, the Government released a new Defence White Paper, Defence 2000 – Our Future Defence Force that placed a greater emphasis on preparing the ADF for overseas deployments. The Government committed to improve the ADF's capabilities by improving the readiness and equipment of ADF units, expanding the ADF and increasing real Defence expenditure by 3% per year. In 2003 and 2005, the Defence Updates emphasised this focus on expeditionary operations and led to an expansion and modernisation of the ADF.

Since 2000, the ADF's expanded force structure and deployment capabilities have been put to the test on a number of occasions. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Australia committed a special forces
Special forces
Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

 task group and an air-to-air refuelling aircraft to operations in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, and naval warships to the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 as Operation Slipper
Operation Slipper
Operation Slipper is the Australian Defence Force contribution to the war in Afghanistan. The operation commenced in late 2001 and is ongoing...

. In 2003, approximately 2,000 ADF personnel, including a special forces task group, three warships and 14 F/A-18 Hornet
F/A-18 Hornet
The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic, all-weather carrier-capable multirole fighter jet, designed to dogfight and attack ground targets . Designed by McDonnell Douglas and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter's YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and...

 aircraft, took part in the invasion of Iraq
Australian contribution to the 2003 invasion of Iraq
The Howard Government supported the disarmament of Iraq during the Iraq disarmament crisis. Australia later provided one of the four most substantial combat force contingents during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, under the operational codename Operation Falconer. Part of its contingent were among the...

.

Later in 2003, elements of all three services deployed to the Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands is a sovereign state in Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of . The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal...

 as part of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands
Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands
The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands , also known as Operation Helpem Fren, was created in 2003 in response to a request for international aid by the Governor-General of the Solomon Islands...

. In late 2004, over 1,000 ADF personnel deployed to Indonesia in Operation Sumatra Assist
Operation Sumatra Assist
Operation Sumatra Assist was the Australian Defence Force's contribution to disaster relief in Indonesia following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. ADF personnel were deployed within hours of the earthquake. They served mainly in Aceh province of Indonesia...

 following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake...

. In May 2006, approximately 2,000 ADF personnel deployed to East Timor in Operation Astute
Operation Astute
Operation Astute is an Australian-led military deployment to East Timor to quell unrest and return stability in the 2006 East Timor crisis. It is currently headed by Brigadier Bill Sowry, and commenced on 25 May 2006 under the command of Brigadier Michael Slater...

 following unrest between elements of the Timor Leste Defence Force.

Current operations



In July 2011, around 3,300 ADF personnel were deployed on twelve operations in Australian territory and overseas. Approximately 400 of these personnel were taking part in domestic maritime security tasks.
The ADF currently has several forces deployed to the Middle East. The ADF's contribution to the international coalition against terrorism
War on Terrorism
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

 in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 (designated Operation Slipper
Operation Slipper
Operation Slipper is the Australian Defence Force contribution to the war in Afghanistan. The operation commenced in late 2001 and is ongoing...

) is the largest ADF deployment, with about 1,550 personnel in the country at any time. Operation Slipper also includes the deployment of one of the RAN's frigates to the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden on counter piracy and maritime interdiction duties. The Australian force in Iraq is now limited to 33 soldiers assigned to protect the Australian Embassy in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 (Operation Kruger) and two officers attached to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. Detachments of two maritime patrol aircraft and three C-130 Hercules transport aircraft support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan; these are based at Al Minhad Air Base
Al Minhad Air Base
Al Minhad Air Base is a military installation in the United Arab Emirates. The base is located approximately south of Dubai and is operated by the United Arab Emirates Air Force.-Facilities:The airport resides at an elevation of above mean sea level...

 in the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

. The ADF also maintains three small contributions totalling 61 personnel to peacekeeping operations in the Middle East and Africa. All ADF units in the Middle East come under the overall command of Joint Task Force 633, whose headquarters is located at Al Minhad Air Base.

ADF units are currently deployed on two operations in Australia's immediate neighbourhood. Approximately 404 personnel, most of whom form part of the joint Australia-New Zealand International Security Force, are deployed to East Timor
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

 on peacekeeping duties as part of Operation Astute
Operation Astute
Operation Astute is an Australian-led military deployment to East Timor to quell unrest and return stability in the 2006 East Timor crisis. It is currently headed by Brigadier Bill Sowry, and commenced on 25 May 2006 under the command of Brigadier Michael Slater...

. About 80 soldiers are also deployed in the Solomon Islands as the ADF's contribution to the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands
Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands
The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands , also known as Operation Helpem Fren, was created in 2003 in response to a request for international aid by the Governor-General of the Solomon Islands...

.

Future trends



Australia's changing security environment will lead to new demands being placed on the Australian Defence Force. Although it is not expected that Australia will face any threat of direct attack, terrorist groups and tensions between nations in East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

 pose threats to Australian security. The unstable governments in many South Pacific countries may lead to some of these countries becoming failed state
Failed state
The term failed state is often used by political commentators and journalists to describe a state perceived as having failed at some of the basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government...

s in the future. States such as Fiji
Fiji
Fiji , officially the Republic of Fiji , is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about northeast of New Zealand's North Island...

 may require Australian military-led interventions to restore civil government.

Australian demographic trends
Demographics of Australia
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Australia, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religions, and other aspects of the population....

 will put pressure on the ADF in the future. Excluding other factors, the aging of the Australian population will result in smaller numbers of potential recruits entering the Australian labour market each year. Some predictions are that population aging will result in slower economic growth and increased government expenditure on pensions and health programs. As a result of these trends, the aging of Australia's population may worsen the ADF's manpower situation and may force the Government to reallocate some of the Defence budget. In addition, relatively few young Australians consider joining the military and the ADF has to compete for recruits against private sector firms which are able to offer higher salaries.

The ADF has developed strategies to respond to Australia's changing strategic environment and population base. These strategies include expanding the ADF and introducing new equipment in order to increase Australia's strategic weight
Power in international relations
Power in international relations is defined in several different ways. Political scientists, historians, and practitioners of international relations have used the following concepts of political power:...

. To maintain Australia's qualitative lead over neighbouring states the ADF intends to introduce new technologies and maintain the high quality of Australian military training. The ADF is also seeking to develop and implement improved military tactics based upon the integration of technology and better cooperation between the services.

Current structure



The Australian Defence Force, Department of Defence
Department of Defence (Australia)
The Australian Department of Defence is a Federal Government Department. It forms part of the Australian Defence Organisation along with the Australian Defence Force . The Defence mission is to defend Australia and its national interests...

 and Defence Materiel Organisation
Defence Materiel Organisation
The Defence Materiel Organisation is the Australian Government agency responsible for the acquisition, through-life support and disposal of equipment for the Australian Defence Force...

 (DMO) make up the Australian Defence Organisation
Australian Defence Organisation
The Australian Defence Organisation is an Australian Government organisation which consists of the Australian Defence Force and the civilian Department of Defence personnel supporting the ADF...

 (ADO), which is often referred to as 'Defence'. A diarchy
Diarchy
Diarchy , from the Greek δι- "twice" and αρχια, "rule", is a form of government in which two individuals, the diarchs, are the heads of state. In most diarchies, the diarchs hold their position for life and pass the responsibilities and power of the position to their children or family when they...

 of the Chief of the Defence Force
Chief of the Defence Force (Australia)
Chief of the Defence Force is the most senior appointment in the Australian Defence Force . The CDF commands the ADF under the direction of the Minister of Defence, in a coequal arrangement with the Secretary of Defence, the most senior public servant in the Department of Defence.The position is a...

 (CDF) and the Secretary of the Department of Defence administers the ADO. The ADF is the military component of the ADO and consists of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

The Department of Defence is staffed by both civilian
Civilian
A civilian under international humanitarian law is a person who is not a member of his or her country's armed forces or other militia. Civilians are distinct from combatants. They are afforded a degree of legal protection from the effects of war and military occupation...

 and military personnel and includes agencies such as the DMO, Defence Intelligence Organisation
Defence Intelligence Organisation
The Defence Intelligence Organisation is an Australian government intelligence agency responsible for assessing intelligence obtained from or provided by other Australian and foreign intelligence agencies, supporting Defence and Government decision-making and the planning and conduct of Australian...

 (DIO) and Defence Science and Technology Organisation
Defence Science and Technology Organisation
The Defence Science and Technology Organisation is a branch of the Australian Department of Defence which researches and develops technologies for use in the Australian defence industry....

 (DSTO). The DMO purchases and maintains defence equipment. The DSTO provides science and technology support to the defence forces.

Command arrangements



The ADF's command arrangements are specified in the Defence Act (1903) and subordinate legislation. This act states that the Minister of Defence
Minister for Defence (Australia)
The Minister for Defence of Australia administers his portfolio through the Australian Defence Organisation, which comprises the Department of Defence and the Australian Defence Force. Stephen Smith is the current Minister.-Ministers for Defence:...

 "shall have the general control and administration of the Defence Force" and that the CDF, the Secretary of the Department of Defence and the chiefs of the three services must act "in accordance with any directions of the Minister". The leaders of the ADO are also responsible to the junior ministers who are appointed
to manage specific elements of the defence portfolio. Stephen Smith
Stephen Smith (Australian politician)
Stephen Francis Smith , is the Australian Minister for Defence. He has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since March 1993, representing the Division of Perth, Western Australia....

 is the current Minister of Defence, and the other ministers in the portfolio are Minister for Defence Materiel
Minister for Defence Materiel (Australia)
The Australian Minister for Defence Materiel is Jason Clare, who was appointed on 14 September 2010. The ministry is part of the portfolio of the Minister for Defence and is administered through the Department of Defence...

 Jason Clare
Jason Clare
Jason Dean Clare is the Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives for the seat of Blaxland in the western suburbs of Sydney. He won election in the 2007 Australian federal election....

 and Warren Snowdon
Warren Snowdon
Warren Edward Snowdon is an Australian politician. He is an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives. He represented the Division of Northern Territory from July 1987 to March 1996, and from October 1998 to November 2001.Since November 2001 he has represented the...

, who is both the Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Veterans' Affairs (Australia)
The Australian Minister for Veterans' Affairs oversees income support, compensation, care and commemoration programs for more than 400,000 veterans and their widows, widowers and dependants....

 and Minister for Defence Science and Personnel
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel (Australia)
The Australian Minister for Defence Science and Personnel is Warren Snowdon, who was appointed on 14 September 2010, following the 2010 election. The ministry is part of the porfolio of the Minister for Defence and is administered through the Department of Defence.-Ministers for Defence Personnel:...

. Senator David Feeney
David Feeney
David Ian Feeney is an Australian politician. He has been a Labor member of the Australian Senate since July 2008.Feeney was born in Adelaide. His father is a immigrant from Northern Ireland. Raised Catholic, he attended Mercedes College, Adelaide before moving to Melbourne, where he attended...

 is the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence.

The CDF is the most senior appointment in the ADF. The CDF commands the ADF, and is notionally the equal of the Secretary of Defence, the most senior public servant in the Department of Defence. The CDF is the only four-star officer in the ADF and is a General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

, Admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 or Air Chief Marshal
Air Chief Marshal
Air chief marshal is a senior 4-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

. In addition to their command responsibilities, the CDF is also the Minister of Defence's principal military adviser. General David Hurley is the current CDF, and assumed this position on 4 July 2011. Hugh White, a prominent academic and former Deputy Secretary in the Department of Defence, has criticised the ADF's current command structure. White argues that the Minister plays too large a role in military decision-making and does not provide the CDF and Secretary of Defence with necessary and sufficient authority to manage the ADO effectively.

Under the current ADF command structure the day-to-day management of the ADF is distinct from the command of military operations. The services are administered through the ADO, with the head of each service (the Chief of Navy
Chief of Navy (Australia)
The Chief of Navy is the most senior appointment in the Royal Australian Navy, responsible to the Chief of the Defence Force and the Secretary of Defence...

, Chief of Army and Chief of Air Force) and the service headquarters being responsible for raising, training and sustaining combat forces. The Chiefs are also the CDF's principal advisor on matters concerning the responsibilities of their service.

While the individual members of each service ultimately report to their service's Chief, the Chiefs do not control military operations. Control of ADF operations is exercised through a formal command chain headed by the Chief of Joint Operations
Chief of Joint Operations (Australia)
Until September 2007, the Vice Chief of the Defence Force was "double hatted" as the Chief of Joint Operations . In this role he commanded Australian Defence Force operations on behalf of the Chief of the Defence Force...

 (CJOPS), who reports directly to the CDF. The CJOPS commands the Headquarters Joint Operations Command
Headquarters Joint Operations Command (Australia)
The Australian Headquarters Joint Operations Command is the Australian Defence Force's operational level headquarters responsible for the command and control of ADF operations worldwide...

 (HQJOC) as well as temporary joint task forces. These joint task forces comprise units assigned from their service to participate in operations or training exercises.

Joint combat forces



Operational command of the ADF is exercised by HQJOC, which is located at a purpose-built facility near Bungendore, New South Wales
Bungendore, New South Wales
Bungendore is a town in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia, in Palerang Council. It is on the Kings Highway near Lake George, the Molonglo River Valley and the Australian Capital Territory border. It has become a major tourist centre in recent years, popular with visitors from...

. This is a 'joint' headquarters comprising personnel from the three services and includes a continuously manned Joint Control Centre. HQJOC's main role is to "plan, monitor and control" ADF operations and exercises, and it is organised around groups of plans, operations and support staff. HQJOC also monitors the readiness of the ADF units which are not assigned to operations and contributes to developing Australia's military doctrine
Military doctrine
Military doctrine is the concise expression of how military forces contribute to campaigns, major operations, battles, and engagements.It is a guide to action, not hard and fast rules. Doctrine provides a common frame of reference across the military...

.

As well as HQJOC, the ADF has a number of permanent joint operational commands responsible to the CJOPS. Joint Operations Command (JOC) includes the two headquarters responsible for patrolling Australia's maritime borders on a day to day basis, Northern Command and Border Protection Command
Border Protection Command (Australia)
The Australian Government's Border Protection Command is a multi-agency command which was established in 2005 to coordinate the protection of Australia’s offshore assets...

. Other JOC units include the Joint Movements Group and the Air and Space Operations Centre. In addition, individual ADF units and Joint Task Groups are assigned to JOC during operations, and HQJOC includes officers responsible for submarine and special operations forces.

Royal Australian Navy



The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval branch
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 of the Australian Defence Force. The RAN operates 74 vessels of all sizes, including frigate
Frigate
A frigate is any of several types of warship, the term having been used for ships of various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.In the 17th century, the term was used for any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being "frigate-built"...

s, submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

s, patrol boat
Patrol boat
A patrol boat is a relatively small naval vessel generally designed for coastal defense duties.There have been many designs for patrol boats. They may be operated by a nation's navy, coast guard, or police force, and may be intended for marine and/or estuarine or river environments...

s and auxiliary ships. The RAN is one of the most modern navies in the Pacific and is responsible for defending Australian waters and undertaking operations in distant locations.

There are two parts to the RAN's structure. One is an operational command, Fleet Command, and the other is a support command, Navy Systems Command. The Navy's assets are administered by four 'forces' which report to the Commander Australian Fleet
Commander Australian Fleet
Commander Australian Fleet , also referred to as Fleet Commander Australia , is a senior appointment in the Royal Australian Navy , holding full command of all Navy combat forces and responsibility for all maritime operations within the Australian Defence Force...

. These are the Fleet Air Arm
Fleet Air Arm (RAN)
The Fleet Air Arm , known formally as the Australian Navy Aviation Group, is the division of the Royal Australian Navy responsible for the operation of aircraft. The FAA was founded in 1947 following the purchase of two aircraft carriers from the Royal Navy...

, the Mine Warfare, Clearance Diving, Hydrographic, Meteorological and Patrol Force, Submarine Force
Royal Australian Navy Submarine Service
The Royal Australian Navy Submarine Service is the collective name of the submarine element of the Royal Australian Navy. The service currently forms the Navy's Submarine Force Element Group and consists of six Collins class submarines....

 and Surface Force.

Australian Army


The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. While the Australian Army is principally a light infantry
Light infantry
Traditionally light infantry were soldiers whose job was to provide a skirmishing screen ahead of the main body of infantry, harassing and delaying the enemy advance. Light infantry was distinct from medium, heavy or line infantry. Heavy infantry were dedicated primarily to fighting in tight...

 force, it is currently being 'hardened and networked' and expanded to enable it to conduct higher-intensity operations.

The Army is organised into three main elements which report to the Chief of Army; the Headquarters of the 1st Division
1st Division (Australia)
The 1st Division is the main formation of the Australian Army and contains the majority of the army's regular forces. Its headquarters is in Enoggera, a suburb of Brisbane...

, Special Operations Command
Special Operations Command (Australia)
The Special Operations Command is a command within the Australian Defence Force . Special Operations Command was established in May 2003, to unite all of the ADF special forces units. As of 2007 Special Operations Command is fully operational. Australia's Special Operations Command is of...

 and Forces Command. Headquarters 1st Division is responsible for high-level training activities and is capable of being deployed to command large scale ground operations. It does not have any combat units permanently assigned to it, though it commands units during training activities and the Land Combat Readiness Centre reports to the divisional headquarters. Most of the Army's units report to Forces Command, which is responsible for overseeing their readiness and preparing them for operations. Special Operations Command is responsible for preparing the ADF's special forces
Special forces
Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

 units for operational deployments. This organisation came into effect during January 2011; before this time the Army's three regular brigades were permanently assigned to the Headquarters 1st Division.

The Australian Army's main combat forces are grouped in brigades. These comprise a mechanised brigade—1st Brigade, a light infantry brigade—3rd Brigade, a motorised brigade—7th Brigade, six Army Reserve brigades, an aviation brigade (16th Brigade), a combat support and ISTAR
ISTAR
ISTAR stands for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance. In its macroscopic sense, ISTAR is a practice that links several battlefield functions together to assist a combat force in employing its sensors and managing the information they gather.Information is collected on...

 brigade (6th Brigade
6th Brigade (Australia)
The 6th Brigade is an Australian Army brigade. First formed during the First World War as an infantry unit of the Australian Imperial Force, the brigade served at Gallipoli and in France and Belgium on the Western Front...

) and a logistics brigade (the 17th Brigade). The Army's main tactical formations are battlegroups
Battlegroup (army)
A battlegroup , or task force in modern military theory, is the basic building block of an army's fighting force. A battlegroup is formed around an infantry battalion or armoured regiment, which is usually commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel...

 formed around the headquarters of a battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

-sized formation.

Special Operations Command (SOC) commands the ADF's special forces units. It comprises the Special Air Service Regiment
Australian Special Air Service Regiment
The Special Air Service Regiment, officially abbreviated SASR but commonly known as the SAS, is a special forces unit of the Australian Army...

, two commando regiments, the Incident Response Regiment and signals, logistics and training units. The Army's special forces units have been expanded since 2001 and are well equipped and capable of being deployed by sea, air or land.

Royal Australian Air Force



The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is the air force
Air force
An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or...

 branch of the ADF. The RAAF has modern combat
Military aircraft
A military aircraft is any fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft that is operated by a legal or insurrectionary armed service of any type. Military aircraft can be either combat or non-combat:...

 and transport aircraft
Cargo aircraft
A cargo aircraft is a fixed-wing aircraft designed or converted for the carriage of goods, rather than passengers. They are usually devoid of passenger amenities, and generally feature one or more large doors for the loading and unloading of cargo...

 and a network of bases in strategic locations across Australia.

Unlike the other services, the RAAF has only a single operational command, RAAF Air Command
RAAF Air Command
Air Command is the operational arm of the Royal Australian Air Force . It is headed by the Air Commander Australia, whose role is to manage and command the RAAF's Force Element Groups , which contain the operational capability of the Air Force...

, which includes the Air Force Training Group
RAAF Training Command
The Royal Australian Air Force's Air Force Training Group is responsible for providing individual training to members of the RAAF. The Group was established as Training Command in 1953 and is headquartered at RAAF Williams. In July 2006 Training Command was re-formed as the Air Force Training Group...

. RAAF Air Command is the operational arm of the RAAF and also consists of the Air Combat Group
Air Combat Group RAAF
The Royal Australian Air Force's Air Combat Group is the group which administers the RAAF's fighter and bomber aircraft. ACG was formed on 7 February 2002 by merging the RAAF's Tactical Fighter Group and Strike Reconnaissance Group in an attempt to improve the speed with which the RAAF can deploy...

, Air Lift Group
Air Lift Group RAAF
Air Lift Group is one of five Groups in the Royal Australian Air Force, which is responsible for Airlift and Air-to-Air refuelling capabilities.Airlift capabilities can be classified as:...

, Surveillance and Response Group
Surveillance and Response Group RAAF
The Surveillance and Response Group is a Force Element Group of the Royal Australian Air Force with its headquarters at RAAF Base Williamtown....

, Combat Support Group and Aerospace Operational Support Group
Aerospace Operational Support Group RAAF
The Aerospace Operational Support Group is a support group of the Australian Defence Force based at RAAF Base Edinburgh.-External links:*...

. Each group consists of a number of wings
Wing (air force unit)
Wing is a term used by different military aviation forces for a unit of command. The terms wing, group or Staffel are used for different-sized units from one country or service to another....

.

The RAAF has eighteen flying squadrons; four combat squadrons, two maritime patrol squadrons, five transport squadrons, six training squadrons (including three operational conversion units
Operational Conversion Unit
An Operational Conversion Unit is a unit within an air force whose role is to support preparation for the operational missions of a specific aircraft type by providing trained personnel. OCUs teach pilots how to fly an aircraft and which tactics best exploit the performance of their aircraft and...

 and a forward air control training squadron) and one Airborne Early Warning & Control squadron. The Air Force also includes a single independent flight
Flight (military unit)
A flight is a military unit in an air force, naval air service, or army air corps. It usually comprises three to six aircraft, with their aircrews and ground staff; or, in the case of a non-flying ground flight, no aircraft and a roughly equivalent number of support personnel. In most usages,...

 (No. 5 Flight
No. 5 Flight RAAF
No. 5 Flight is a Royal Australian Air Force aircraft flight which was raised in January 2010. It is located at RAAF Base Amberley and forms part of No. 82 Wing. The flight is responsible for preparing Australian Defence Force personnel to operate the detachment of two RAAF IAI Heron unmanned...

). A large number of ground support units support these flying squadrons, including three expeditionary combat support squadrons, two airfield defence squadrons
Airfield Defence Guards
The Airfield Defence Guard mustering of the Royal Australian Air Force performs specialist ground defence tasks to protect air power assets from hostile ground action. The mustering is composed of non-commissioned members, commonly called 'ADGies,' most of whom are employed within an Airfield...

 and communications, radar and medical units.

Logistic support



The ADF's logistics
Military logistics
Military logistics is the discipline of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of military forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is those aspects or military operations that deal with:...

 are managed by the DMO and the Joint Logistics Command. The DMO was created in 2000 by merging the ADF's Support Command Australia with the Department of Defence's Defence Acquisition Organisation and National Support Division. The DMO purchases all forms of equipment and services used by the ADF and is also responsible for maintaining this equipment throughout its life of type.

The DMO is not responsible for directly supplying deployed ADF units; this is the responsibility of the Joint Logistics Command and the single service logistic units. These units include the Navy's Systems Command and replenishment ships, the Army's 17th Combat Service Support Brigade and Combat Service Support Battalions, and the Combat Support Group RAAF.

The increasing role of the private sector
Private sector
In economics, the private sector is that part of the economy, sometimes referred to as the citizen sector, which is run by private individuals or groups, usually as a means of enterprise for profit, and is not controlled by the state...

 forms an important trend in the ADF's logistics arrangements. During the 1990s many of the ADF's support functions were transferred to the private sector to improve the efficiency with which they were provided. Since these reforms most of the 'garrison' support services at military bases have been provided by private firms
Private military company
A private military company or provides military and security services. These combatants are commonly known as mercenaries, though modern-day PMCs refer to their staff as security contractors, private military contractors or private security contractors, and refer to themselves as private military...

. The reforms also led to many of the ADF's logistics units being disbanded or reduced in size. Since this time private firms have increasingly been contracted to provide critical support to ADF units deployed outside Australia. This support has included transporting equipment and personnel and constructing and supplying bases.

Military intelligence



The Australian Defence Force's intelligence
Military intelligence
Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

 collection and analysis capabilities include each of the services' intelligence systems and units, two joint civilian-military intelligence gathering agencies and two strategic and operational-level intelligence analysis
Intelligence analysis
Intelligence analysis is the process of taking known information about situations and entities of strategic, operational, or tactical importance, characterizing the known, and, with appropriate statements of probability, the future actions in those situations and by those entities...

 organisations.

Each of the three services has its own intelligence assets. RAN doctrine states that "all maritime units" contribute to the collection of intelligence and many of the RAN's ships are capable of collecting communications and electronic transmissions. The Collins class submarine
Collins class submarine
The Collins class is a class of six Australian-built diesel-electric submarines operated by the Royal Australian Navy . The Collins class takes its name from Australian Vice Admiral John Augustine Collins; all six submarines are named after significant RAN personnel who distinguished themselves in...

s are particularly effective in this role. The Army's intelligence units include the 1st Intelligence Battalion, 7th Signals Regiment (Electronic Warfare), three Regional Force Surveillance Units
Regional Force Surveillance Units
"RFSU" redirects here. For the Swedish organization, see Swedish Association for Sexuality EducationThe Regional Force Surveillance Units are specialised infantry units of the Australian Army Reserve responsible for patrolling northern Australia...

 and the Special Air Service Regiment
Australian Special Air Service Regiment
The Special Air Service Regiment, officially abbreviated SASR but commonly known as the SAS, is a special forces unit of the Australian Army...

. The RAAF's intelligence assets include the Jindalee Operational Radar Network
Jindalee Operational Radar Network
The Jindalee Operational Radar Network is an over-the-horizon radar network that can monitor air and sea movements across 37,000 km2. It has an official range of 3,000 km. It is used in the defence of Australia and can also monitor maritime operations, wave heights and wind directions...

 and other air defence radars, No. 87 Squadron
No. 87 Squadron RAAF
No. 87 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force air intelligence squadron. The Squadron saw action during World War II as a photo reconnaissance squadron.-World War II:...

 and the AP-3 Orion aircraft operated by No. 92 Wing
No. 92 Wing RAAF
No. 92 Wing is the maritime patrol wing of the Royal Australian Air Force. It is headquartered at RAAF Base Edinburgh. It is part of the Surveillance and Response Group, and consists of No. 10 Squadron, No. 11 Squadron and No. 292 Squadron. The wing also has a permanent detachment at RMAF Base...

.

The Defence Intelligence and Security Group
Defence Intelligence Group
The Australian Department of Defence Defence Intelligence and Security Group is a division of the Australian Department of Defence and comes under the auspices of the Deputy Secretary for Intelligence and Security . The group provides intelligence for the Australian Government and the Australian...

 within the Department of Defence supports the services and cooperate with the civilian agencies within the Australian Intelligence Community. This Group consists of the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation
Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation
The Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation is an Australian government intelligence agency responsible for the tasking , exploitation , and dissemination of geospatial intelligence...

 (DIGO), Defence Signals Directorate
Defence Signals Directorate
Defence Signals Directorate is an Australian government intelligence agency responsible for signals intelligence and information security .-Overview:According to its website, DSD has two principal functions:...

 (DSD) and Defence Intelligence Organisation
Defence Intelligence Organisation
The Defence Intelligence Organisation is an Australian government intelligence agency responsible for assessing intelligence obtained from or provided by other Australian and foreign intelligence agencies, supporting Defence and Government decision-making and the planning and conduct of Australian...

 (DIO). The DIGO is responsible for geospatial intelligence
GEOINT
Geospatial intelligence, GEOINT , GeoIntel , or GSI has no universally accepted definition and it has been said that if you "ask 10 people to define 'geospatial intelligence,' and you are likely to get 10 different answers."-Official definition:The...

 and producing maps for the ADF, the DSD is Australia's signals intelligence agency and the DIO is responsible for the analysis of intelligence collected by the other intelligence agencies. The three agencies are headquartered in Canberra, though the DIGO has staff in Bendigo
Bendigo, Victoria
Bendigo is a major regional city in the state of Victoria, Australia, located very close to the geographical centre of the state and approximately north west of the state capital Melbourne. It is the second largest inland city and fourth most populous city in the state. The estimated urban...

 and the DSD maintains several permanent signals collection facilities in other locations.

The DSD includes a Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) which is responsible for protecting Defence and other Australian Government agencies against cyberwarfare attacks. The CSOC was established in January 2010 and is jointly staffed by the DSD, other sections of the ADO, Attorney-General's Department
Attorney-General's Department (Australia)
The Attorney-General's Department is an Australian Government Department. Its role is to serve the people of Australia by providing essential expert support to the Government in the maintenance and improvement of Australia's system of law and justice...

, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation is Australia's national security service, which is responsible for the protection of the country and its citizens from espionage, sabotage, acts of foreign interference, politically-motivated violence, attacks on the Australian defence system, and...

 and Australian Federal Police
Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces its history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to the federation of...

. Unlike the United States military, the ADF does not class cyberwarfare as being a separate sphere of warfare.

Personnel



The Australian military has been an all-volunteer force
Volunteer military
A volunteer military or all-volunteer military is one which derives its manpower from volunteers rather than conscription or mandatory service. A country may offer attractive pay and benefits through military recruitment to attract volunteers...

 since the abolition of conscription in 1972
Conscription in Australia
Conscription in Australia, or mandatory military service also known as National Service, has a controversial history dating back to the first years of nationhood...

. Both women and men can enlist in the ADF, although there are some restrictions on the positions that women may fill. In general, only Australian citizens can enlist in the ADF though permanent residents are accepted in "exceptional circumstances". The minimum age for recruits is 17 and the retirement age is 60 for permanent personnel and 65 for reservists.

Personnel numbers


In the 2010–2011 financial year the ADF had an average strength of 59,023 permanent (full-time) and 21,850 reserve (part-time) personnel. In addition there were 22,166 inactive members of the Standby Reserve as at June 2009. The Army is the largest service, followed by the RAAF and RAN. In that time, the ADO also employed an average of 20,656 civilian Australian Public Service
Australian Public Service
The Australian Public Service is the Australian federal civil service, the group of people employed by federal departments, agencies and courts under the Government of Australia, to administer the working of the public administration of the Commonwealth of Australia...

 (APS) staff and 675 contractors. Average levels for the 2010–2011 financial year were as follows:
Service Permanent Active Reserve Total
Navy 14,215 2,150 16,365
Army 30,235 16,900 47,135
Air Force 14,573 2,800 |17,375
Total 59,023 21,850 80,873



During the 2009–10 financial year 6,063 people enlisted in the ADF on a permanent basis. This represented 91% of the ADF's recruitment target for that year. A further 671 people enlisted as part of the gap year scheme (96% of the target) and 2,629 joined the reserves (84% of the target). During that financial year 4,000 people left the ADF's permanent force, representing a 7.1% separation rate.

The number of ADF personnel has changed over the last 20 years. During the 1990s the strength of the ADF was reduced from around 70,000 to 50,000 permanent personnel as a result of budget cuts and the commercialisation of some elements of the military. The ADF began to grow from 2000 after the defence white paper released that year called for an expansion to the military's strength. During the 2003–04 to 2005–06 financial years the strength of the ADF dropped as a result of problems with attracting further recruits. The ADF has consistently grown in all subsequent financial years, however. This growth is attributable to increased spending on recruitment and improved recruitment and retention policies. Nevertheless, some parts of the ADF are suffering from shortages of personnel (such as technicians and trades people) and demand for skilled labour in the broader economy is driving up the wages the ADF needs to pay to retain key personnel. As of May 2010, 20 employment categories were considered "critical or perilous" due to a shortage of skilled personnel, though this had been reduced from 32 such categories in 2009.

As of the 2011-12 budget, Defence planned to have a strength of 58,627 full-time personnel supported by 21,397 civilians and contractors in the 2018-19 financial year. The Strategic Reform Program has included transferring the roles filled by several hundred ADF members to civilian APS staff as a means of reducing costs.

Reserves


Each of the branches of the ADF has a reserve component. These forces are the Royal Australian Naval Reserve
Royal Australian Naval Reserve
The Royal Australian Naval Reserve is the volunteer reserve force of the Royal Australian Navy in Australia.The current Royal Australian Naval Reserve was formed in June 1973 by merging the former RANR and the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve....

, Australian Army Reserve
Australian Army Reserve
The Australian Army Reserve is a collective name given to the reserve units of the Australian Army. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, the reserve military force has been known by many names, including the Citizens Forces, the Citizen Military Forces, the Militia and, unofficially, the...

 and Royal Australian Air Force Reserve. The main role of the reserves is to supplement the permanent elements of the ADF during deployments and crises, including natural disaster
Natural disaster
A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard . It leads to financial, environmental or human losses...

s. This can include attaching individual reservists to regular units or deploying units composed entirely of reserve personnel. As reservists serve on a part-time basis, they are less costly to the government than permanent members of the ADF. However, the nature of their service can mean that reservists have a lower level of readiness that regular personnel and require additional training before they can be deployed. It has historically proven difficult to set a level of training requirements which allows reservists to be rapidly deployable yet does not act as a disincentive to recruitment and continued participation.
There are two main categories of reserve personnel; those in the active reserve and those in the standby reserve. Members of the active reserve have an annual minimum training obligation. Army and RAAF reservists may also volunteer for the high readiness reserve; this category of reservists have higher training and active service obligations. Members of the standby reserve are not required to undertake training, and would only be called up in response to a national emergency or to fill a specialised position. Most standby reservists are former full-time members of the ADF.

While Australian Naval Reserve personnel are assigned to permanent units, most members of the Army Reserve and Air Force Reserve are members of reserve units. Most of the RAAF's reserve units are not capable of being deployed, however, and reserve personnel are generally attached to regular air force units during their periods of active service. In contrast, the Army Reserve is organised into permanent units, though it is unlikely that these would be deployed in their entirety. There have been long-running debates over whether the Army Reserve and its structure remain relevant to modern warfare.

The ADF's increased activities since 1999 and shortfalls in recruiting permanent personnel has led to reservists being more frequently called to active service. This has included large scale domestic deployments, which have included providing security for major events such as the 2000 Summer Olympics
2000 Summer Olympics
The Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games or the Millennium Games/Games of the New Millennium, officially known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated between 15 September and 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia...

 and responding to natural disasters. Large numbers of reserve personnel have also been deployed as part of ADF operations in Australia's region; this has included the deployment of Army Reserve rifle companies
Company (military unit)
A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–225 soldiers and usually commanded by a Captain, Major or Commandant. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure...

 to East Timor and the Solomon Islands. Smaller numbers of reservists have taken part in operations in locations distant from Australia. Notably, companies of the Army Reserve 1st Commando Regiment have regularly been deployed to Afghanistan as part of the Special Operations Task Group.

Training


Individual training of Australian servicemen and women is generally provided by the services in their own training institutions. Each service has its own training organisation which manages this individual training. Where possible, however, individual training is increasingly being provided through tri-service schools.

Military academies include HMAS Creswell
HMAS Creswell
HMAS Creswell is a shore establishment of the Royal Australian Navy, a part of the Australian Defence Force, and consists of the Royal Australian Naval College , The RAN School of Survivability and Ship's Safety, Kalkara Flight, the Beecroft Weapons Range and an administrative support...

 for the Navy, Royal Military College, Duntroon
Royal Military College, Duntroon
The Royal Military College, Duntroon is the Australian Army's officer training establishment. It was founded at Duntroon, in the Australian Capital Territory, in 1911 and is situated on picturesque grounds at the foot of Mount Pleasant near Lake Burley Griffin, close to the Department of Defence...

 for the Army, and the Officer Training School – RAAF Base East Sale
RAAF Base East Sale
RAAF Base East Sale is one of the main training establishments of the Royal Australian Air Force, including where Australian Air Force Cadets have their annual General Service Training. It is home to the Roulettes aerobatic team. It is also now the home of the RAAF's Officers' Training School ...

 for the Air Force. The Australian Defence Force Academy
Australian Defence Force Academy
The Australian Defence Force Academy is a tri-service military Academy that provides military and tertiary academic education for junior officers of the Australian Defence Force in the Royal Australian Navy , Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force .Tertiary education is provided by the...

 is a Tri-Service university for officer cadets of all services wishing to attain a university degree through the Australian Defence Force. Navy recruit training is conducted at HMAS Cerberus, Army recruits are trained at the Army Recruit Training Centre and Air Force recruits at RAAF Base Wagga
RAAF Base Wagga
RAAF Base Wagga is located in the New South Wales town of Wagga Wagga, in the suburb of Forest Hill.The RAAF no longer controls the airfield which, although still owned by the Commonwealth of Australia, is currently leased to the Wagga Wagga City Council...

.

Women in the ADF


Women first served in the Australian military during World War II when each service established a separate female branch. The RAAF was the first service to fully integrate women into operational units, doing so in 1977, with the Army and RAN following in 1979 and 1985 respectively. The ADF initially struggled to integrate women, with integration being driven by changing Australian social values and Government legislation rather than a change in attitudes within the male-dominated military.

The number of positions available to women in the ADF has increased over time. Although servicewomen were initially barred from combat positions, these restrictions began to be lifted in 1990. In 2010 approximately 92% of employment categories and 84% of positions in the ADF were available to females as well as males. The only positions which women are currently excluded from are those in which there is a high probability of 'direct combat', which includes all infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 positions and other positions in which there is a high probability of hand to hand combat
Hand to hand combat
Hand-to-hand combat is a lethal or nonlethal physical confrontation between two or more persons at very short range that does not involve the use of firearms or other distance weapons...

. As a result, while almost all positions in the Navy and Air Force are open to women, women are excluded from a high proportion of Army positions.

Despite the expansion in the number of positions available to women and other changes which aim to encourage increased female recruitment and retention, there has been little growth in the proportion of female permanent defence personnel. In the 1989–1990 financial year women made up 11.4% of the ADF personnel. In the 2008–2009 financial year women occupied 13.5% of ADF positions. During the same period the proportion of civilian positions filled by women in the Australian Defence Organisation increased from 30.8% to 42.8%. In 2008, defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon instructed the ADF to place a greater emphasis on recruiting women and addressing barriers to women being promoted to senior roles. In September 2011 Minister for Defence Stephen Smith announced that the Cabinet had decided to remove all restrictions on women serving in combat positions, and that this change would come into effect within five years. This decision was supported by the CDF and the chiefs of the services.

Ethnic composition


A high percentage of ADF personnel are drawn from the Anglo-Celtic
Anglo-Celtic
Anglo-Celtic is a term used to describe people of British and Irish descent. The term today is mainly used outside of Britain and Ireland, particularly in Australia but also in Canada, New Zealand and the United States, where a significant diaspora is located....

 portion of Australia's population. In 2007 the proportion of ADF personnel born in Australia and the other predominately Anglo-Celtic countries was higher than this population group's share of both the Australian workforce and overall population. As a result, analyst Mark Thomson argues that the ADF is unrepresentative of Australia's society in this regards and that recruiting more personnel from other ethnic backgrounds would improve the ADF's language skills and cultural empathy. The ADF is developing a new advertising campaign to attract recruits from non Anglo-Celtic backgrounds.

The ADO is currently seeking to expand the number of Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. The Aboriginal Indigenous Australians migrated from the Indian continent around 75,000 to 100,000 years ago....

 it recruits and improve their retention rate. Restrictions on Indigenous Australians' ability to enlist in the military existed until the 1970s, though hundreds of Indigenous men and women had joined the military when restrictions were reduced during the world wars. By 1992 the representation of Indigenous Australians in the ADF was equivalent to their proportion of the Australian population, though they continue to be under-represented among the officer corps. Two of the Army's three Regional Force Surveillance Units (NORFORCE
NORFORCE
The NORFORCE is an infantry regiment of the Australian Army Reserve. Formed in 1981, the regiment is one of three Regional Force Surveillance Units employed in surveillance and reconnaissance of the remote areas of Northern Australia.-History:In the late-1970s and early 1980s the need for a...

 and the 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment
Far North Queensland Regiment
The 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment is a light infantry battalion of the Australian Army. The battalion serves as a Regional Force Surveillance Unit , carrying out reconnaissance and surveillance tasks as its primary role...

) are manned mostly by Indigenous Australian reservists. In 2007 Indigenous Australians made up 1.4% of permanent ADF personnel and 1.8% of reservists.

Sexuality



Like many of its allies, Australia allows gay men and lesbians to serve openly. Openly gay and lesbian personnel were banned from the ADF until November 1992 when the Australian Government decided to remove this prohibition. The heads of the services and most military personnel opposed this change at the time, and it caused considerable public debate.

Opponents of lifting the ban on gay and lesbian personnel argued that doing so would greatly harm the ADF's cohesiveness and cause large numbers of resignations. This did not eventuate, however, and the reform caused relatively few problems. A 2000 study found that lifting the ban on gay service did not have any negative effects on the ADF's morale, effectiveness or recruitment and retention and may have led to increased productivity and improved working environments. Since 1 January 2009 same-sex couples have had the same access to military retirement pensions and superannuation as opposite-sex couples.

Current expenditure



The Australian Government allocated to the Australian Defence Organisation in the 2011–2012 financial year. This level of expenditure is equivalent to approximately 1.8% of Australian Gross Domestic Product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 and 7.3% of the Government's planned expenditure over the 2011–2012 financial year. In broad terms, 31.1% of the 2011–2012 defence budget will be allocated to personnel expenses, 35.4% to operating costs and 26.6% to investment.

The 2009 defence white paper included a commitment to increase defence spending by 3% in real terms each year over a 21 year period. In addition, the white paper also specified that defence would be required to undertake a package of reforms named the 'Strategic Reform Program' which aimed to save over ten years through improvements to management practices and other efficiencies. While the amount of money allocated to defence in the 2011–2012 budget was 4.2% higher in real terms than that provided in the previous financial year, defence was required to hand back which it had failed to spend in previous years. A further of previously planned investment expenditure was deferred until after 2014 and the long-range estimated expenditure on defence was reduced by over the ten years from 2011. These reductions are due to delays in many of the capital projects specified in the white paper.

In relative terms, Australia's defence expenditure as a proportion of GDP is greater than that of most developed Western nations, but is smaller than the proportion allocated to defence by Australia's larger neighbours. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has estimated that Australia's defence spending in 2010 was the 13th highest of any country in purchasing power parity
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

 terms. As a proportion of GDP Australia's defence spending ranks as 57th of the countries for which data is available.

Long term procurement projects


The Defence Capability Plan (DCP) sets out the ADF's long term capital programs. DCPs have been regularly produced since 2000. The current public version DCP, which was released in 2009 and updated in late 2010, contains 140 projects and phases of projects which have a total estimated cost of in 2010 dollars. Work on these projects will take place between 2011 and 2020. The most expensive and complex projects in the DCP are the Collins class submarine replacement project‎, the purchase of at least 72 F-35 Lightning II fighters, upgrades to the RAAF's Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft, the replacement of many of the ADF's wheeled vehicles, the replacement of the Army's ASLAV and M-113s and the development of new offshore combatant vessels
Planned Australian offshore combatant vessel
The Offshore Combatant Vessel is a planned multipurpose small warship class for the Royal Australian Navy . Through the use of modular mission packages, the ships will be capable of operating in multiple roles, primarily border patrol, mine warfare, and hydrographic survey...

 and frigates to replace most of the RAN's surface combatants.

The increasing cost of defence equipment poses a challenge to the ADF. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute
Australian Strategic Policy Institute
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute is an Australian Government-funded think tank that was established in 2001. ASPI's role is to develop ideas on Australia's defence and strategic policy options and help inform the public on defence and strategic policy issues...

 estimates that the cost of purchasing and operating the equipment in the Defence Capability Plan may exceed the projected Defence Budget. If additional resources are not made available to correct this funding shortfall the government may be forced to reduce the ADF's size.

Current equipment


While the Australian Defence Force seeks to be a high-technology force, much of its equipment is approaching obsolescence and is scheduled to be replaced or upgraded in the near future. Australia does not possess
Australia and weapons of mass destruction
Australia is currently not known or believed to possess weapons of mass destruction, although it has participated in extensive research into nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in the past....

 weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

 and has ratified the Biological Weapons Convention
Biological Weapons Convention
The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the...

, Chemical Weapons Convention
Chemical Weapons Convention
The Chemical Weapons Convention is an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. Its full name is the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction...

 and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to...

. Although most of the ADF's weapons are only used by single service, there is an increasing emphasis on commonality. The three services use the same small arms and the FN Herstal 35
Browning Hi-Power
The Browning Hi-Power is a single-action, 9 mm semi-automatic handgun. It is based on a design by American firearms inventor John Browning, and completed by Dieudonné Saive at Fabrique Nationale of Herstal, Belgium. Browning died in 1926, several years before the design was finalized...

 is the ADF's standard hand gun, the F88 Austeyr the standard rifle, the F89 Minimi the standard light support weapon, the FN Herstal MAG-58
FN MAG
The FN MAG is a Belgian 7.62 mm general-purpose machine gun, designed in the early 1950s at Fabrique Nationale by Ernest Vervier. It has been used by more than 80 countries, and it has been made under licence in countries such as Argentina, Egypt, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the...

 the standard light machine gun and the Browning M2HB the standard heavy machine gun.

The Royal Australian Navy operates a large number of ships and submarines. The Navy's 12 frigates are its most capable surface combatants. The four remaining Adelaide class frigates
Adelaide class frigate
The Adelaide class is a ship class of six guided missile frigates constructed in Australia and the United States of America for service in the Royal Australian Navy. The class is based on the United States Navy's Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates, but modified for Australian requirements...

 provide the RAN's surface offensive capability, while the eight Anzac class frigates
Anzac class frigate
The Anzac class is a ship class of ten frigates; eight operated by the Royal Australian Navy and two operated by the Royal New Zealand Navy...

 are general purpose escorts. The RAN's submarine force has six Collins class submarines
Collins class submarine
The Collins class is a class of six Australian-built diesel-electric submarines operated by the Royal Australian Navy . The Collins class takes its name from Australian Vice Admiral John Augustine Collins; all six submarines are named after significant RAN personnel who distinguished themselves in...

, which currently rank among the most effective conventional submarines in the world. There are currently 14 Armidale class patrol boat
Armidale class patrol boat
The Armidale class is a class of patrol boats built for the Royal Australian Navy . Planning for a class of twelve vessels to replace the fifteen Fremantle class patrol boats began in 1993 as a joint project with the Royal Malaysian Navy, but was cancelled when Malaysia pulled out of the process...

s for border security and fisheries patrol duties in Australia's northern waters. The RAN's amphibious force comprises the Landing Ship Heavy and six Balikpapan class Landing Craft Heavy
Balikpapan class LCH
The Balikpapan class LCH are a class of eight vessels operated by the Australian Defence Force and the Papua New Guinea Defence Force . They were initially built for the Australian Army, but operational responsibility was transferred from the Army to the Royal Australian Navy during 1973 and 1974...

. The Navy's minesweeping force operates six Huon class minehunters
Huon class minehunter
The Huon class Minehunter Coastal ships are a group of minehunters built for the Royal Australian Navy . Following problems with the Bay class minehunters, a request for tender was issued in 1993 for a class of six coastal minehunters under the project designation SEA 1555...

, two of which are currently operating as patrol boats, and three auxiliary minesweepers. An auxiliary tanker, a fleet replenishment ship, and six survey vessels support these combatants. As at December 2010 the Fleet Air Arm's helicopter force comprised 16 Seahawks for anti-submarine tasks, six Sea King
Westland Sea King
The Westland WS-61 Sea King is a British licence-built version of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter of the same name, built by Westland Helicopters. The aircraft differs considerably from the American version, with Rolls-Royce Gnome engines , British made anti-submarine warfare systems and a...

 and five MRH 90 transport helicopters and 13 Squirrel and three AW109s for training purposes.
The Australian Army is primarily a light infantry
Light infantry
Traditionally light infantry were soldiers whose job was to provide a skirmishing screen ahead of the main body of infantry, harassing and delaying the enemy advance. Light infantry was distinct from medium, heavy or line infantry. Heavy infantry were dedicated primarily to fighting in tight...

 force equipped with equipment which may be carried by individual soldiers. However, the Army's equipment includes a substantial quantity of armoured vehicles and artillery. Moreover, the Army is introducing additional armoured vehicles into service as part of the 'hardened and networked army' initiative. The Army's armoured
Armoured warfare
Armoured warfare or tank warfare is the use of armoured fighting vehicles in modern warfare. It is a major component of modern methods of war....

, mechanised and motorised
Motorised infantry
In NATO and most other western countries, motorised infantry is infantry which is transported by trucks or other motor vehicles. It is distinguished from mechanized infantry, which is carried in armoured personnel carriers, infantry combat vehicles, or infantry fighting vehicles...

 units are currently equipped with 59 M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks, 774 M113
M113 armored personnel carrier
The M113 is a fully tracked armored personnel carrier that has formed the backbone of the United States Army's mechanized infantry units from the time of its first fielding in Vietnam in April 1962. The M113 was the most widely used armored vehicle of the U.S...

 armoured personnel carriers (including vehicles in store), and 257 ASLAV
ASLAV
The Australian Service Light Armoured Vehicle , is an Australian version of the Light Armoured Vehicle designed and manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems Canada for the U.S. Marines. The initial design was the MOWAG Piranha 8x8, however the vehicle was re-designed to meet North American...

 armoured reconnaissance vehicles. 838 Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles are being introduced into service. The Army's artillery holdings consist of 109 L119 Hamel
L118 Light Gun
The L118 Light Gun is a 105 mm towed howitzer, originally produced for the British Army in the 1970s and widely exported since, including to the United States, where a modified version is known as the M119A1...

 105 mm calibre towed guns, 36 155 mm towed M198 howitzer
M198 howitzer
The M198 howitzer is a medium-sized, towed artillery piece, developed for service with the United States Army and Marine Corps. It was commissioned to be a lightweight replacement for the WWII era M114 155mm howitzer. It was designed and prototyped at the Rock Island Arsenal in 1969 with firing...

s, an unspecified number of 81 mm mortars and 30 RBS-70 surface-to-air missiles. As at December 2010 Australian Army Aviation
Australian Army Aviation
Australian Army Aviation is a corps of the Australian Army, and was formed on 1 July 1968 with a strength of 106 officer pilots, although it has a history dating back to 1911, when the Minister of Defence at the time, Senator George Pearce, decided there should be a flying school in the Defence...

 is equipped with 91 helicopters, including 26 Kiowa reconnaissance helicopters, 16 of a planned 22 Eurocopter Tiger
Eurocopter Tiger
The Eurocopter Tiger is an attack helicopter manufactured by Eurocopter. In Germany it is known as the Tiger; in France and Spain it is called the Tigre.-Origins:...

 armed reconnaissance helicopters, 34 S-70A-9 Blackhawk
Sikorsky S-70
The Sikorsky S-70 is a medium transport/utility helicopter family manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. It was developed for the U.S. Army in the 1970s, winning a competition to be designated the UH-60 Blackhawk and spawning a large family in U.S. military service...

, six CH-47 Chinook and eight of a planned 41 MRH 90 transport helicopters and a single Squirrel. The Army also operates several ScanEagle and Skylark
Elbit Skylark
Elbit Systems Skylark I and Skylark II are small unmanned aerial vehicles developed by Elbit Systems.-Skylark I:Skylark I is a miniature unmanned aerial vehicle. It is designed as a manpacked system for tactical surveillance and reconnaissance. Skylark is launched by hand. The payload consists of...

 unmanned aerial vehicles. In addition, the Army is equipped with 15 LCM-8
LCM-8
The LCM-8 is a river boat and mechanized landing craft used by the United States Navy and Army during the Vietnam War and subsequent operations. They are currently used by governments and private organizations throughout the world. The acronym stands for "Landing Craft Mechanized, Mark 8...

 watercraft to support amphibious operations.


The Royal Australian Air Force operates combat, maritime patrol, transport and training aircraft. As at October 2011 the combat aircraft force comprised 71 F/A-18 Hornets  24 F/A-18F Super Hornets. The maritime patrol force was equipped with 19 AP-3C Orions and three of a planned six Boeing Wedgetail Airborne early warning and control aircraft had been accepted into service. The air transport force operated 21 C-130 Hercules and five C-17 Globemaster IIIs. The RAAF also operates three Bombardier Challenger
Bombardier Challenger 600
The Bombardier Challenger 600 series is a family of business jets designed by Bill Lear and produced first by Canadair until that company was bought by Bombardier Aerospace in 1986.-Development:...

 and two Boeing Business Jet
Boeing Business Jet
|-External links:* .* .*...

 737
Boeing 737
The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

 aircraft as VIP transports
Royal Australian Air Force VIP aircraft
The Royal Australian Air Force has operated a number of specialised aircraft to transport members of the Royal Family, the Governor General of Australia, senior members of the Australian government, and other dignitaries....

. One of five Airbus
Airbus
Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

 KC-30B Multi-Role Tanker Transports
Airbus A330 MRTT
The Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport is an aerial refuelling tanker aircraft based on the civilian Airbus A330-200. The A330 MRTT has been ordered by the Royal Australian Air Force , Royal Air Force , United Arab Emirates Air Force, and Royal Saudi Air Force...

 being introduced into service. The RAAF also operates 67 Pilatus PC-9
Pilatus PC-9
The Pilatus PC-9 is a single-engine, low-wing tandem-seat turboprop training aircraft manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland.-Design and development:...

 and 33 Hawk 127 training aircraft. Nine Beechcraft B300 King Air
Beechcraft Super King Air
The Beechcraft Super King Air family is part of a line of twin-turboprop aircraft produced by the Beech Aircraft Corporation . The King Air line comprises a number of model series that fall into two families: the Model 90 series, Model 100 series , Model 200 series and Model 300 series...

 are used for training and transport tasks. Twelve of the Super Hornets are being modified during production to allow them to be upgraded to EA-18G Growler
EA-18G Growler
The Boeing EA-18G Growler is an American carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft, a specialized version of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet. The EA-18G will replace the Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowlers in service with the United States Navy. The Growler's electronic warfare capability is...

 standard at a later date.

Current bases


The Australian Defence Force maintains 60 major bases and many other facilities across all the states and territories of Australia
States and territories of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a union of six states and various territories. The Australian mainland is made up of five states and three territories, with the sixth state of Tasmania being made up of islands. In addition there are six island territories, known as external territories, and a...

. These bases occupy millions of hectares of land, giving the ADO Australia's largest real estate portfolio. In addition, Defence Housing Australia
Defence Housing Australia
Defence Housing Australia is an Australian government statutory authority that provides housing for members of the Australian Defence Force. The organisation was established in 1988. In addition to building houses, it also sells them to investors and then leases them back for its own use. This...

 manages around 17,000 residences which are occupied by members of the ADF. While most of the Army's permanent force units are based in northern Australia
Northern Australia
The term northern Australia is generally known to include two State and Territories, being Queensland and the Northern Territory . The part of Western Australia north of latitude 26° south—a definition widely used in law and State government policy—is also usually included...

, the majority of Navy and Air Force units are based near Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, Brisbane
Brisbane
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of...

 and Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

. Few ADF bases are currently shared by different services. Small Army and RAAF units are also located at Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Butterworth.

The administrative headquarters of the ADF and the three services is located in Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

 alongside the main offices of the Department of Defence and Defence Materiel Organisation and the interim headquarters of Joint Operations Command. JOC and the other operational headquarters will be co-located near Bungendore, New South Wales
Bungendore, New South Wales
Bungendore is a town in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia, in Palerang Council. It is on the Kings Highway near Lake George, the Molonglo River Valley and the Australian Capital Territory border. It has become a major tourist centre in recent years, popular with visitors from...

 as part of the Headquarters Joint Operations Command Project.

The Royal Australian Navy has two main bases; Fleet Base East in Sydney and Fleet Base West near Perth. The Navy's operational headquarters, Fleet Headquarters, is located adjacent to Fleet Base East. The majority of the Navy's patrol boats are based at HMAS Coonawarra
HMAS Coonawarra
HMAS Coonawarra is a Royal Australian Navy base located in the city of Darwin and is home to twelve fleet units of the Royal Australian Navy.-History:...

 in Darwin, Northern Territory
Darwin, Northern Territory
Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory, Australia. Situated on the Timor Sea, Darwin has a population of 127,500, making it by far the largest and most populated city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory, but the least populous of all Australia's capital cities...

 with the remaining patrol boats and the hydrographic fleet located at in Cairns. The Fleet Air Arm
Fleet Air Arm (RAN)
The Fleet Air Arm , known formally as the Australian Navy Aviation Group, is the division of the Royal Australian Navy responsible for the operation of aircraft. The FAA was founded in 1947 following the purchase of two aircraft carriers from the Royal Navy...

 is based at near Nowra, New South Wales
Nowra, New South Wales
Nowra is a city in the South Coast region of New South Wales, Australia. Located SSW and approximately by road south of the state capital of Sydney, it has an estimated population together with its twin-town of Bomaderry of 34,479. It is also the seat and commercial centre of the City of Shoalhaven...

.

The Australian Army's regular units are concentrated in a small number of bases, most of which are located in Australia's northern states. The Army's operational headquarters, Land Command, is located at Victoria Barracks
Victoria Barracks, Sydney
Victoria Barracks is an Australian Army base in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Victoria Barracks is located in the suburb of Paddington, between Oxford Street and Moore Park Road...

 in Sydney. Most elements of the Army's three regular brigades are based at Robertson Barracks
Robertson Barracks
For the Robertson Barracks, Norfolk, England see RAF Swanton MorleyRobertson Barracks is a major Australian Army base located in the outer Darwin, Northern Territory suburb of Holtze in the Municipality of Litchfield. The barracks was built during the 1990s. The Barracks are home to the 1st Brigade...

 near Darwin, Lavarack Barracks
Lavarack Barracks
Lavarack Barracks is a major Australian Army base located in Townsville, Queensland. Lavarack Barracks is currently home to the Army's 3rd Brigade and 11th Brigade. Elements of the 3rd Brigade based at the Barracks include the Combat Signals Regiment, 3rd Combat Services Support Battalion and the...

 in Townsville, Queensland
Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

, and Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane. The Deployable Joint Force (Land) Headquarters is also located at Gallipoli Barracks. Other important Army bases include the Army Aviation Centre
Oakey Army Aviation Centre
Oakey Army Aviation Centre is situated approximately 3 km from the town centre of Oakey in Queensland, Australia. It provides a training establishment for Australian Army Aviation, and also hosts a Singapore Armed Forces Helicopter Squadron, namely the 126 Squadron.-History:The base has a...

 near Oakey, Queensland
Oakey, Queensland
Oakey is a rural town situated in the Darling Downs region of Queensland, Australia. It is situated west of the state capital, Brisbane, and west of the regional city of Toowoomba. At the 2006 census, Oakey had a population of 3,657.-History:...

, Holsworthy Barracks
Holsworthy Barracks
Holsworthy Barracks is located in the outer south-western Sydney suburb of Holsworthy. It is part of the Holsworthy military reserve, which has been a training area and artillery range for the Australian Army since World War I. Following World War II it became a major base for the permanent...

 near Sydney, Woodside Barracks
Woodside Barracks
Woodside Barracks is an Australian Army base located in South Australia at Woodside.-History:The base was established in 1927, and known as Woodside Camp. It consisted of 162 hectares and was located east of Adelaide, South Australia. The camp was used for the training of light horse and infantry...

 near Adelaide, South Australia and Campbell Barracks
Campbell Barracks (Australia)
Campbell Barracks is an Australian Army base located in Swanbourne, a coastal suburb of Perth, Western Australia. The Australian Special Air Service Regiment has been based at Campbell Barracks since the Regiment was first established as an independent company in 1957...

 in Perth. Dozens of Army Reserve
Australian Army Reserve
The Australian Army Reserve is a collective name given to the reserve units of the Australian Army. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, the reserve military force has been known by many names, including the Citizens Forces, the Citizen Military Forces, the Militia and, unofficially, the...

 depots are located across Australia.

The Royal Australian Air Force maintains a number of air bases, including three which are only occasionally activated. The RAAF's operational headquarters, Air Command
RAAF Air Command
Air Command is the operational arm of the Royal Australian Air Force . It is headed by the Air Commander Australia, whose role is to manage and command the RAAF's Force Element Groups , which contain the operational capability of the Air Force...

, is located at RAAF Base Glenbrook
RAAF Base Glenbrook
RAAF Base Glenbrook is home to Headquarters Air Command of the Royal Australian Air Force. There is no airfield at Glenbrook, although it is an HLS . It is a small base in the Lower Blue Mountains outside Sydney, New South Wales, with most administrative services located on the nearby RAAF Base...

 near Sydney. The Air Force's combat aircraft are based at RAAF Base Amberley
RAAF Base Amberley
RAAF Base Amberley is a Royal Australian Air Force base located southwest of Ipswich, Queensland and southwest of Brisbane. It is currently home to No. 1 Squadron and No. 6 Squadron , No. 33 Squadron and No. 36 Squadron...

 near Ipswich, Queensland
Ipswich, Queensland
Ipswich is a city in South-East Queensland, Australia. Situated along the Bremer River Valley approximately 40 kilometres away from the state's capital Brisbane. The suburb by the same name forms the city's Central Business District and administrative centre...

, RAAF Base Tindal
RAAF Base Tindal
RAAF Base Tindal is a Royal Australian Air Force air base located near the town of Katherine in the Northern Territory. The base is currently home to No...

 near Katherine, Northern Territory
Katherine, Northern Territory
Katherine is a town situated southeast of Darwin in the "Top End" of Australia in the Northern Territory. It is the fourth largest settlement in the Territory after the capital Darwin, Palmerston and Alice Springs...

 and RAAF Base Williamtown
RAAF Base Williamtown
RAAF Base Williamtown is a Royal Australian Air Force base and headquarters to Australia's Tactical Fighter group. The base is located north of the coastal city of Newcastle, New South Wales in the Local Government Area of Port Stephens. The military base shares its runway facilities with...

 near Newcastle, New South Wales
Newcastle, New South Wales
The Newcastle metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of New South Wales and includes most of the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Local Government Areas...

. The RAAF's maritime patrol aircraft are based at RAAF Base Edinburgh
RAAF Base Edinburgh
RAAF Base Edinburgh is located in Edinburgh, 25km north of the centre of Adelaide.It is primarily home to No 92 Wing's AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft that conduct surveillance operations throughout Australia's airspace....

 near Adelaide and most of its transport aircraft are based at RAAF Base Richmond
RAAF Base Richmond
RAAF Base Richmond is one of Australia's oldest and largest air force bases. It is located within the City of Hawkesbury in the north-western fringe of Sydney, New South Wales, between the towns of Windsor and Richmond. The base is home to the Royal Australian Air Force's transport headquarters,...

 in Sydney. RAAF Base Edinburgh is also home to the control centre for the Jindalee Operational Radar Network
Jindalee Operational Radar Network
The Jindalee Operational Radar Network is an over-the-horizon radar network that can monitor air and sea movements across 37,000 km2. It has an official range of 3,000 km. It is used in the defence of Australia and can also monitor maritime operations, wave heights and wind directions...

. Most of the RAAF's training aircraft are based at RAAF Base Pearce
RAAF Base Pearce
RAAF Base Pearce is the main RAAF base in Western Australia. The base is located in Bullsbrook, north of Perth. It is used for training by the Royal Australian Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Air Force...

 near Perth with the remaining aircraft located at RAAF Base East Sale
RAAF Base East Sale
RAAF Base East Sale is one of the main training establishments of the Royal Australian Air Force, including where Australian Air Force Cadets have their annual General Service Training. It is home to the Roulettes aerobatic team. It is also now the home of the RAAF's Officers' Training School ...

 near Sale, Victoria
Sale, Victoria
Sale is a city in the Gippsland region of the Australian state of Victoria. It is the seat of the Shire of Wellington as well as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sale and the Anglican Diocese of Gippsland. It has a population of around 13,336, and is expected to reach a population of 14,000 soon...

 and RAAF Base Williamtown. The RAAF also maintains a network of bases in northern Australia to support operations to Australia's north. These bases include RAAF Base Darwin
RAAF Base Darwin
RAAF Base Darwin is a Royal Australian Air Force base located in the city of Darwin, Northern Territory. The base shares its runway with Darwin International Airport.-History:...

 and RAAF Base Townsville
RAAF Base Townsville
RAAF Base Townsville is, along with RAAF Base Tindal and RAAF Base Darwin, one of northern Australia's primary defence installations. It is also Headquarters for No...

 and three 'bare bases'
RAAF Bare Bases
The Royal Australian Air Force currently maintains three Bare Bases in remote areas of Northern Australia. These bases were developed in the 1980s and 1990s in line with the Defence of Australia Policy in order to enhance the RAAF's ability to conduct combat operations from the Australian mainland...

 in Queensland
Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

 and Western Australia
Western Australia
Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east...

. Of the RAAF's operational bases, only Tindal is located near an area in which the service's aircraft might feasibly see combat. While this protects the majority of the RAAF's assets from air attack, most air bases are poorly defended and aircraft are generally hangered in un-hardened shelters.

Domestic responsibilities


The Australian Defence Force has a number of domestic responsibilities. In most of these tasks the ADF supports the relevant civilian authorities. These responsibilities are typically undertaken by specialised elements of the ADF, though the services' combat elements can be deployed within Australia in response to major emergencies.
The ADF makes a significant contribution to Australia's domestic maritime security. ADF ships, aircraft and Regional Force Surveillance Units conduct patrols of northern Australia in conjunction with the Australian Customs Service
Australian Customs Service
The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service is the Australian Federal Government agency responsible for managing the security and integrity of the Australian border, facilitating the movement of legitimate international travellers and goods, and collecting border-related duties and...

. This operation, which is code-named Operation Resolute
Operation Resolute
Operation Resolute is the Australian Defence Force's contribution to patrolling Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone. Operation Resolute began on 17 July 2006 and consolidated a number of previous ADF operations, including Operation Relex....

, is commanded by the Border Protection Command
Border Protection Command (Australia)
The Australian Government's Border Protection Command is a multi-agency command which was established in 2005 to coordinate the protection of Australia’s offshore assets...

 which is jointly manned by members of the ADF and Customs. Up to 400 personnel were assigned to Operation Resolute in July 2010.

While the ADF does not have a significant nation-building role, it provides assistance to remote Indigenous Australian communities. Since 1996 the Army has regularly deployed engineer units to assist remote communities. Under this program a single engineer squadron
Royal Australian Engineers
The Royal Australian Engineers is a corps of the Australian Army . The RAE is ranked fourth in seniority of the corps of the Australian Army, behind the Staff Cadets, Armoured and Artillery Corps...

 works with one community for several months each year to upgrade the community's infrastructure and provide training. The ADF also took part in the intervention in remote Northern Territory Indigenous communities between June 2007 and October 2008. During this operation ADF personnel provided logistical support to the Northern Territory Emergency Response Task Force
Northern Territory National Emergency Response
The Northern Territory National Emergency Response was a package of changes to welfare provision, law enforcement, land tenure and other measures, introduced by the Australian federal government under John Howard in 2007 to address claims of rampant child sexual abuse and neglect in Northern...

 and helped conduct child health checks.

The ADF shares responsibility for counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to prevent or in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.The tactic of terrorism is available to insurgents and governments...

 with civilian law enforcement agencies. Under the Australian National Counter-Terrorism Plan the State and Territory police
Law enforcement in Australia
Law enforcement in Australia is facilitated by police, sheriffs and bailiffs under the control of state, territory and the Federal governments. A number of specialist agencies also administer a wide variety of legislation related to white-collar crime....

 and emergency services have the primary responsibility for responding to any terrorist incidents on Australian territory. If a terrorist threat or the consequences of an incident are beyond the capacity of civilian authorities to resolve the ADF may be 'called out'
Military Aid to the Civil Power
Military aid to the civil power is assistance by the armed forces to the civil authorities of the state with the provision of specialist equipment or trained personnel...

 to provide support. In order to meet its counter-terrorism responsibilities the ADF maintains two elite Tactical Assault Groups
Tactical Assault Group (Australia)
The tactical assault groups is a military counter-terrorism unit in Australia.The two TAGs, East and West, are structured to conduct offensive domestic counter-terrorist operations focusing on incident resolution and the recovery of hostages....

, the Incident Response Regiment
Australian Incident Response Regiment
The Incident Response Regiment is the Australian Army's premier Special Operations Engineer capability. The Regiment forms part of the Special Operations Command. Its mission is to provide specialist response to threats involving chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear and/or explosive...

, and a company-sized high readiness group in each Army Reserve
Australian Army Reserve
The Australian Army Reserve is a collective name given to the reserve units of the Australian Army. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, the reserve military force has been known by many names, including the Citizens Forces, the Citizen Military Forces, the Militia and, unofficially, the...

 brigade and the 1st Commando Regiment
1st Commando Regiment
1st Commando Regiment is a reserve commando regiment of the Australian Army with a contingent of full-time cadre staff. It is part of the Australian Special Operations Command .-Organisation:...

. While these forces provide a substantial counter-terrorism capability, the ADF does not regard domestic security as being part of its 'core business'.

Foreign defence relations




The Australian Defence Force cooperates with militaries around the world. Australia's formal military agreements include the ANZUS Alliance
ANZUS
The Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty is the military alliance which binds Australia and New Zealand and, separately, Australia and the United States to cooperate on defence matters in the Pacific Ocean area, though today the treaty is understood to relate to attacks...

 with the United States of America, the Closer Defence Program with New Zealand and the Five Power Defence Arrangements
Five Power Defence Arrangements
The Five Power Defence Arrangements are a series of defence relationships established by a series of bilateral agreements between the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore signed in 1971, whereby the five states will consult each other in the event of external aggression...

 with Malaysia, Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Australia is currently developing closer security ties with Japan. ADF activities under these agreements include participating in joint planning, intelligence sharing, personnel exchanges, equipment standardisation programs and joint exercises. Australia is also a member of the UKUSA
UKUSA Community
The United Kingdom – United States of America Agreement is a multilateral agreement for cooperation in signals intelligence among the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It was first signed in March 1946 by the United Kingdom and the United States and later...

 signals intelligence gathering agreement.

New Zealand, Singapore and the United States maintain military units in Australia. The New Zealand and Singaporean forces are limited to small training units at ADF bases, with the New Zealand contingent comprising nine Army
New Zealand Army
The New Zealand Army , is the land component of the New Zealand Defence Force and comprises around 4,500 Regular Force personnel, 2,000 Territorial Force personnel and 500 civilians. Formerly the New Zealand Military Forces, the current name was adopted around 1946...

 personnel involved in air navigation training. Two Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

 pilot training squadrons are based in Australia; 126 Squadron at the Oakey Army Aviation Centre
Oakey Army Aviation Centre
Oakey Army Aviation Centre is situated approximately 3 km from the town centre of Oakey in Queensland, Australia. It provides a training establishment for Australian Army Aviation, and also hosts a Singapore Armed Forces Helicopter Squadron, namely the 126 Squadron.-History:The base has a...

 and 130 Squadron at RAAF Base Pearce. The Singapore Army
Singapore Army
The Singapore Army is the branch of the Singapore Armed Forces responsible for land operations. It is the largest of the three armed services and heavily reliant on a conscript army, comprising the majority of Singapore's Operationally Ready National Servicemen .-Capabilities:The mission of the...

 also uses the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area
Shoalwater Bay
Shoalwater Bay is a large bay on the central coast of Queensland, Australia, located 100 km north of the coastal town of Yeppoon and 628 km north-north-west of the state capital, Brisbane. Since 1966, the land surrounding Shoalwater Bay has been under the ownership of the Australian Defence Force,...

 in Queensland for annual large-scale exercises.

Two United States intelligence and communications facilities are located in Australia; the Pine Gap
Pine Gap
Pine Gap is the commonly used name for a satellite tracking station at, some south-west of the town of Alice Springs in the centre of Australia which is operated by both Australia and the United States. The facility has become a key part of the local economy.It consists of a large computer complex...

 satellite tracking station near Alice Springs and Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt
Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt
Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt is located on the northwest coast of Australia, north of the town of Exmouth, Western Australia. The town of Exmouth was built at the same time as the communications station to provide support to the base and to house dependent families of U.S...

 near Exmouth, Western Australia
Exmouth, Western Australia
-Further reading:* Western Australia. Ministry for Planning. Exmouth-Learmonth structure plan. Perth, W.A. : Western Australian Planning Commission...

. Pine Gap is jointly operated by Australian and United States personnel and Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt has been an exclusively Australian-operated facility since 1999. In early 2007 the Australian Government approved the construction of a new unmanned US communications installation at the Defence Signals Directorate Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station
Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station
The Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station is located at Kojarena, 30 km east of Geraldton, Western Australia. The ADSCS is part of the US signals intelligence and analysis network ECHELON...

 facility near Geraldton, Western Australia
Geraldton, Western Australia
Geraldton is a city and port in Western Australia located north of Perth in the Mid West region. Geraldton has an estimated population at June 2010 of 36,958...

. The United States Military also frequently uses Australian exercise areas and these facilities have been upgraded to support joint Australian-United States training. In addition to these facilities, between 200 and 300 US Military personnel are posted to Australia to liaise with the ADF and in November 2011 the Australian and American Governments announced plans to rotate United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 and United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 units through bases in the Northern Territory for training purposes.

The ADF provides assistance to militaries in Australia's region through the Defence Cooperation Program. Under this program the ADF provides assistance with training, infrastructure, equipment and logistics and participates in joint exercises with countries in South East Asia and Oceania. The Pacific Patrol Boat Program is the largest Defence Cooperation Program activity and supports 22 Pacific class patrol boat
Pacific class patrol boat
The Pacific class is a class of 22 patrol boats built by Australia and donated to twelve South Pacific countries. Constructed from 1985 to 1997 and operated by militaries, coast guards or police forces of the twelve island nations, these boats are supported by the Pacific Patrol Boat Program...

s operated by twelve South Pacific countries. Other important activities include supporting the development of the Timor Leste Defence Force and Papua New Guinea Defence Force and supplying watercraft to the Armed Forces of the Philippines
Armed Forces of the Philippines
The Armed Forces of the Philippines is composed of the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force...

. Australia also directly contributes to the defence of Pacific countries by periodically deploying warships and aircraft to patrol their territorial waters. Under an informal agreement Australia is responsible for the defence of Nauru
Nauru
Nauru , officially the Republic of Nauru and formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island country in Micronesia in the South Pacific. Its nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in Kiribati, to the east. Nauru is the world's smallest republic, covering just...

.

Assessment of capabilities


The ADF's capabilities enable it to carry out a range of tasks. The size of the force that the government can deploy differs according to the likelihood of high-intensity combat and the distance from Australia. In overall terms, Dr. Mark Thomson of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute
Australian Strategic Policy Institute
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute is an Australian Government-funded think tank that was established in 2001. ASPI's role is to develop ideas on Australia's defence and strategic policy options and help inform the public on defence and strategic policy issues...

 assesses the ADF's size and capability as being typical for a Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 nation with Australia's economic and population base.
The ADF has probably the most capable air and naval capabilities in the South-East Asia region. However, the small size of the Army and the age of much of the RAN and RAAF's equipment constrains Australia's ability to make large-scale deployments or engage in high-intensity combat. The ADF's personnel shortages may also limit its ability to quickly conduct new deployments.

The ADF is highly capable of defeating direct attacks on Australia by conventional forces, though such attacks are highly improbable at present. The ADF's intelligence gathering capabilities should enable it to detect any attacking force before it reaches Australia. Once detected, the RAN and RAAF would be able to defeat the attacking force while it was still in Australia's maritime approaches. The Army and RAAF are also capable of defeating small raiding forces once they are detected. The ADF currently maintains sufficient forces to meet its domestic security and counter-terrorism responsibilities.

The RAN and RAAF are capable of deploying significant numbers of capable ships and aircraft, these forces are large and modern enough to operate independently in a high-threat environment and would typically make up a small part of a larger international coalition force. Due to its relatively small size the Army's capability for high intensity warfare is more limited than that of the other services.
As a result of these limitations, the ADF is capable of providing only relatively small, but high-quality, 'niche' forces for high intensity warfare. Such forces include the Navy's submarines, the Army's special forces and the RAAF's Orion aircraft. However, the ADF's logistic capabilities are insufficient to independently supply such forces deployed in areas distant from Australia. As a result, the ADF can only contribute forces to high intensity warfare outside of Australia's region when larger coalition partners provide logistical support.

The ADF is highly capable of undertaking peacekeeping operations around the world. The Navy's frigates and transport ships, the Army's light infantry battalions and the RAAF's transport aircraft are well-suited to peacekeeping. The ADF has the capability to undertake peacekeeping and low-intensity warfare operations independently in Australia's region and can sustain such deployments for a lengthy period. It is also capable of leading international peacekeeping forces in the Asia-Pacific region and the ADF is capable of defending and invading all of its Pacific neighbours and countries to the north such as the Philippines and Papua New Guinea, although the probability of this is very small with the exception of Fiji.

External links