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Global Operations

Border Protection

Operation Resolute

Operation RESOLUTE is the ADF's contribution to the Whole-of-Government effort to protect Australia's borders and offshore maritime interests.

The Operation RESOLUTE Area of Operations covers approximately 10 per cent of the world's surface and includes Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone (AEEZ) which extends up to 200 nautical miles from the Australian mainland and offshore territories. Christmas, Cocos Keeling, Heard, McDonald, Macquarie, Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands also fall within the Operation RESOLUTE boundaries.

The ADF contributes forces under Operation RESOLUTE, through Joint Task Force 639, to Maritime Border Command (MBC), formerly known as Border Protection Command (BPC). MBC is a multi-agency taskforce, within the Australian Border Force (ABF), which utilises assets assigned from ABF and ADF to conduct civil maritime security operations. MBC's maritime surveillance and response activities are commanded and controlled by Rear Admiral Lee Goddard CSC, RAN, from MBC Headquarters in Canberra.

The ADF assets protect Australia's maritime domain from security threats. These threats include:

  • Illegal Maritime Arrivals;
  • Maritime terrorism;
  • Piracy, robbery and violence at sea;
  • Compromise to bio-security;
  • Illegal activity in protected areas;
  • Illegal exploitation of natural resources (eg. illegal fishing);
  • Marine pollution; and
  • Prohibited imports and exports.

At any one time, up to 600 ADF personnel at sea, in the air and on the land, are working to protect Australia's borders and offshore maritime interests. They work alongside personnel from Australian Border Force staff and other agencies.

ADF resources allocated to Operation RESOLUTE comprise:

  • Air Force AP-3C Orion and P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft provide aerial surveillance of Australia's north-west and northern approaches;
  • Navy's Armidale Class Patrol Boats (ACPBs) and Cape Class Patrol Boats (CCPBs) operate daily throughout Australia's maritime areas;
  • Australian Army Regional Force Surveillance Unit (RFSU) patrols which conduct land based security operations;
  • A Transit Security Element (TSE) made up of Navy and Army personnel who embark in the ACPBs; and
  • One Large Hull Vessel (LHV) for northern waters response.

In addition, ADF units transiting the area of operations, whilst not assigned to Operation RESOLUTE, also contribute to the overall surveillance and security effort through their presence.