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Output One: Defence Operations

Australian Defence Force Operations

The following tables list ADF operations conducted in 2002-03, against the Government's strategic objectives contributing to the security of the immediate neighbourhood, supporting the wider interests and peacetime national tasks.

Table 2.3: Contributing to the Security of the Immediate Neighbourhood
Operation Objective and Status
Bali Assist
October 2002 - November 2002
Forces
ADF
Objective: To provide aeromedical evacuation and logistic and personal support for Australian and approved foreign nationals following the bombings in Bali.
Status: Ceased on 8 November 2002.
Contribution: The ADF conducted five aeromedical evacuation missions from Bali to Darwin and four aeromedical evacuation missions from Darwin to other Australian destinations. ADF personnel were provided for disaster victim identification and two psychological support teams and professional linguists also provided assistance.
Citadel
May 2002 - continuing
Forces
ADF
Objective: To contribute to the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET).
Status: Current.
Contribution: Support to UNMISET continued, with approximately 990 personnel, helicopters and a health facility deployed. It is planned to reduce the ADF contribution over the latter half of 2003, in line with United Nations planning to cease operations in May 2004.
Bel Isi II
April 1998 - August 2003
Forces
ADF
Objective: To support the United Nations Peace Monitoring Group to monitor and report on the maintenance of the cease-fire in Bougainville by contributing specialist medical, logistic, communications and transport capabilities.
Status: Ceased on 26 August 2003.
Contribution: The ADF provided support to the United Nations Peace Monitoring Group in Bougainville. Support included 35 ADF personnel and a RAN landing craft supported by a weekly RAAF C-130 air logistic support service and commercial shipping from Townsville. The Peace Monitoring Group in Bougainville ceased operations on 30 June 2003. Operation Bel Isi II ceased on 26 August 2003 following completion of the hand-over to the civilian Bougainville Transition Team.
Gateway
1981 - continuing
Forces
Air Force
Objective: To conduct northern Indian Ocean and South China Sea maritime surveillance patrols.
Status: Current.
Contribution: Operation Gateway continued to be conducted at a reduced rate of effort due to assets being assigned to Operations Relex II and Slipper/Falconer, and the AP-3 aircraft upgrade program.

Supporting Wider Interests

The ADF was involved with and continues to contribute to international coalitions of forces, beyond the immediate neighbourhood. These operations ranged from peacekeeping to high-intensity conflict.

Table 2.4: Supporting Wider Interests
Operation Objective and Status
Palate
April 2003 - continuing
Forces
Army
Objective: To contribute to the United Nations assistance mission in Afghanistan.
Status: Current.
Contribution: One military member is currently deployed to the United Nations assistance mission. This contribution is expected to cease in 2004.
Falconer
March 2003 - July 2003
Forces
ADF
Objective: To contribute to the United States-led coalition operation against Iraq.
Status: Ceased on 24 July - Operation Falconer transitioned to Operation Catalyst.
Contribution: The ADF contribution included:
  • Australian National Headquarters element
  • a Special Operations element
  • a maritime element, including two frigates, an amphibious landing ship, a clearance diving team and two P-3 maritime patrol aircraft; and
  • an aviation element, including 14 F/A-18 aircraft, two C-130 aircraft and three Chinook heavy lift helicopters.
ADF operations in Iraq transitioned to assisting in the rehabilitation of Iraq and the removal of the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction threat under Operation Catalyst, which commenced on 16 July 2003.
Bastille(1)
January 2003 - March 2003
Forces
ADF
Objective: The pre-deployment to the Middle East area of operations in support of potential future operations.
Status: Ceased on 21 March 2003.
Contribution: The ADF deployment to the Middle East area of operations, in support of future operations included:
  • an Australian National Headquarters element
  • a Special Operations element
  • a maritime element, including two frigates, an amphibious landing ship, a clearance diving team and two P-3 maritime patrol aircraft; and
  • an aviation element, including 14 F/A-18 aircraft, two C-130 aircraft and three Chinook heavy lift helicopters.
Husky
January 2001 - February 2003
Forces
Army
Objective: To contribute effectively to the nation-building efforts in Sierra Leone via the International Military Advisory and Training Team (IMATT).
Status: Ceased on 28 February 2003.
Contribution: The ADF contributed two personnel to IMATT to train and advise the Sierra Leone Armed Forces.
Slipper
October 2001 - continuing
Forces
ADF
Objective: To contribute to the United States-led operation against international terrorism.
Status: Current.
Contribution: The ADF contribution deployed to the Middle East area of operations included:
  • a Special Forces element deployed to Afghanistan
  • a B707 refueller aircraft based at Manas in Kyrgyzstan
  • an Australian National Headquarters element; and
  • a maritime element including two frigates, a clearance diving detachment and two P-3 maritime patrol aircraft.
Forces deployed under Operation Slipper also formed part of the Operation Falconer.
Pomelo
January 2001 - continuing
Forces
Army
Objective: To contribute to United Nations peacekeeping efforts in Africa as part of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia/Eritrea.
Status: Current.
Contribution: Two military personnel continue to contribute to United Nations peacekeeping efforts. This contribution is expected to cease in 2004.
Osier
March 1997 - continuing
Forces
Army and Air Force
Objective: To deploy ADF personnel as part of the Stabilisation Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, and the Kosovo Force in Kosovo. In both cases, personnel serve as individuals attached to United Kingdom forces.
Status: Current.
Contribution: Eight military personnel are currently deployed in Bosnia-Herzegovnia with the Multi National Division South West and Kosovo Force in specialist appointments.
Mazurka(2)
September 1992 - continuing
Forces
ADF
Objective: To provide personnel to the Multinational Force and Observers to monitor the security arrangements in the Sinai.
Status: Current.
Contribution: A contribution of 25 military personnel to the Multinational Force and Observers continue to monitor security arrangements.
Paladin
June 1956 - continuing
Forces
Army
Objective: To contribute to the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation in the Middle East. This force of unarmed military observers supervises, observes and reports on the various cease-fire arrangements, truces and peace treaties that have been negotiated between Israel and neighbouring Arab nations since 1948.
Status: Current.
Contribution: Eleven military observers are currently deployed with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation.
Notes
  1. Operation Falconer replaced Operation Bastille, which involved the pre-deployment of forces to the Middle East, with commencement of hostilities in Iraq.
  2. Operation Mazurka was erroneously omitted from the Defence Annual Report 2001-02.

Peacetime National Tasks

The ADF was called upon to undertake a number of regular and occasional tasks in support of national interests over 2002-03. These included specific and ongoing commitments to coastal surveillance, support to the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and support to the Australia Customs Service.

Table 2.5: Peacetime National Tasks(1)
Operation Objective and Status
Tartan
April 2003
Forces
ADF
Objective: To provide ADF support to Coastwatch to track, intercept, board and apprehend the merchant vessel Pong Su which was the subject of a combined Australian Federal Police and Australian Customs Service drug enforcement operation.
Status: Ceased on 20 April 2003.
Contribution: The ADF provided C-130 and P-3 aircraft for aerial surveillance, one Anzac-class frigate (HMAS Stuart), Special Forces, a RAN clearance diving element and two RAN helicopters in support of Coastwatch to successfully apprehend the Pong Su off the coast of NSW.
Relex II
March 2002 - continuing
Forces
ADF
Objective: To conduct air and surface patrols across Australia's northern approaches to deter unauthorised boat arrivals.
Status: Current.
Contribution: The ADF continued to provide support to the whole-of-Government effort to deter unauthorised arrivals by sea in Australia's north west approaches. ADF support included one frigate, one amphibious ship, two P-3 maritime patrol aircraft, up to six Fremantle-class patrol boats and up to three Army transit security elements.
Celesta
August 2001 - continuing
Forces
ADF
Objective: To conduct surface fisheries patrols in the Heard Island-McDonald Island Exclusive Economic Zone.
Status: Dormant.
Contribution: Operation Celesta scheduled patrols were not conducted in 2002-03.
Gaberdine
August 2001 - continuing
Forces
ADF
Objective: To provide support to the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs to manage any increase in unauthorised boat arrivals.
Status: Current.
Contribution: The ADF provided logistic and transportation support to the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, including tents, construction and facilities. One C-130 aircraft and a medical team were provided in September 2002 to transport approximately forty unauthorised arrivals from Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, to Nauru.
Mistral
1998 - continuing
Forces
Navy and Air Force
Objective: To support Australian sovereign rights and fisheries law enforcement in the Southern Ocean by contributing to the Australian Fisheries Management Authority's Southern Ocean fisheries patrols and the overall situational awareness.
Status: Current.
Contribution: This is the overarching operation covering surveillance of the Southern Ocean.
Cranberry
June 1997 - continuing
Forces
ADF
Objective: To coordinate military intelligence and surveillance in northern Australia.
Status: Current.
Contribution: Surveillance continued to be conducted using a range of ADF assets including Fremantle-class patrol boats, P-3 maritime patrol aircraft and Regional Force Surveillance Units.
Prowler
1996 - continuing
Forces
Navy and Army
Objective: To collect military geographic information in northern Australia.
Status: Dormant.
Contribution: This operation is being reviewed to incorporate it into the Australian Theatre Military Geographic Information Plan.
Beachcomber(2)
1996 - continuing
Forces
Navy and Army
Objective: To collect beach information in Australia for operational planning.
Status: Dormant.
Contribution: This operation is being reviewed with a view to incorporating it into the Theatre Military Geographic Information Plan.
Osteal
1995 - continuing
Forces
Navy and Air Force
Objective: To conduct Coral Sea maritime surveillance patrols.
Status: Dormant.
Contribution: This operation is being reviewed to incorporate it into the Australian Theatre Surveillance Plan.
Mellin
1995 - continuing
Forces
Navy and Air Force
Objective: To contribute to Torres Strait and Timor Gap maritime surveillance patrols.
Status: Dormant.
Contribution: This operation is being reviewed to incorporate it into the Australian Theatre Surveillance Plan.
Solania
1988 - continuing
Forces
Navy and Air Force
Objective: To conduct South West Pacific maritime surveillance patrols.
Status: Dormant.
Contribution: This operation remained in abeyance due to higher operational commitments.
Estes
1980 - continuing
Forces
Navy
Objective: To conduct surface patrols in Bass Strait.
Status: Current.
Contribution: This operation is being reviewed to incorporate it into the Australian Theatre Surveillance Plan.
Notes
  1. Surveillance operations are conducted when required subject to asset availability. The level and type of forces assigned to the various surveillance operations will be adjusted in accordance with national surveillance priorities. The surveillance operations in Australia's north western maritime approaches have been subsumed by Operation Relex II for the duration of that operation.
  2. Operation Beachcomber commencement date was erroneously omitted in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2002-03.