Chapter Four - Outcome Performance > Outcome One: Command of Operations > page 2 of 8
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Outcome One: Command of Operations

Performance Summary

Throughout 2004-05, the ADF continued to conduct military campaigns and operations and met the emergency and non-emergency support as required by the Government and in line with the Australian community's expectations. Overseas deployments and various joint and combined exercises involving the three Services and allied or regional military forces were conducted. Each of these activities proceeded generally as forecast in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2004-05.

The ADF continued its commitment to Australia's whole-of-government effort to assist in the rehabilitation of Iraq under Operation Catalyst. In Iraq, the ADF maintained ground forces, military staff officers embedded in coalition headquarters and the Iraqi Ministry of Defence, and training teams undertaking training tasks to assist in the establishment of Iraqi military forces. In the Arabian Gulf, the ADF maintained a frigate continuously on operations and, from April 2005, the commander and headquarters staff for Combined Task Force 58 (CTF 58). With ten ships under control, CTF 58 provided maritime security for Iraq's only two Gulf oil terminals. P-3 Orion and C-130 Hercules aircraft and support crews were maintained in the area of operations providing dedicated national and coalition support throughout the Middle East Area of Operations. Concurrently, the ADF has maintained a small commitment in the area of operations under Operation Slipper as part of Australia's contribution to the United States-led operation against international terrorism. This commitment included the frigate and P-3 Orion platforms and crews being assigned to both operations.

The ADF contribution to the United Nation's peacekeeping commitment to Eritrea under the Operation Pomelo ceased in June 2005. Support to the United Nations in Israel, Lebanon and Syria under Operation Paladin continued throughout the year. Operations in support of the Multi National Force of Observers in the Sinai under Operation Mazurka continued throughout the year. A new operation in support of the United Nations in the Sudan was mounted in May 2005. This small commitment under Operation Azure was historic, as it is the first operational deployment to be commanded by a female member of the ADF.

In Australia's immediate region, Operation Spire ceased in Timor-Leste in May 2005 with the expiry of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mandate. A new operation named Chiron, the ADF's contribution to the United Nations political follow-on mission in Timor-Leste, consists of three military advisers and no security forces. Operation Anode is the ADF's continuing contribution to the Regional Assistance Mission Solomon Islands. A small combined ADF and regional military force remained in the Solomon Islands in support of the ongoing police-led activities. Operation Gateway continued as a maritime surveillance operation. Operation Solania saw the ADF fly surveillance patrols in support of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency member states.

The ADF achieved the range of peacetime national tasks directed by the Government, predominantly through Operation Relex II, the conduct of air and surface patrols across Australia's northern approaches to deter unauthorised boat arrivals. The ADF continued to work cooperatively with Coastwatch in meeting the requirements of the national civil surveillance program. ADF contributions were conducted under Operations Relex II and Cranberry.

Following the devastating South-East Asian tsunami on Boxing Day 2004, the ADF mounted Operation Sumatra Assist to provide disaster relief in the Banda Aceh region of Indonesia. At its height, aircraft, ships, vehicles, a hospital and more than 1,000 personnel were deployed within Sumatra, in Jakarta, and in a logistics support base established at Butterworth in Malaysia. The separate, but related, Operation Thai Assist was mounted concurrently to provide linguist support to Australian Federal Police operating in Thailand. Following a large earthquake in the same region in late March 2005, Operation Sumatra Assist Phase II was mounted. This operation was focused on the island of Nias. During this second phase of Operation Sumatra Assist, one of the Sea King helicopters embarked in HMAS Kanimbla crashed on Nias, killing nine of the 11 ADF personnel on board. Operations in Sumatra concluded at the end of April 2005.

Other operations and activities conducted by the ADF throughout the year were:

  • Operation Nauru Assist in April 2005 provided an explosive ordnance demolition team to dispose of World War II-era unexploded ordnance.
  • Operation Caber in February 2005 provided support to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Australia, held in Sydney.
  • Operation Valient in October and November 2004 provided ADF assistance in the training of Republic of Fiji Military Force troops deploying to Iraq in support of the United Nations.
  • Operation Acolyte commenced in January 2005 to provide ADF support to the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne 2006.

The ADF also provided support to the team led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the recovery of Mr Douglas Wood from captivity as a hostage in Iraq.

Mitigation of Key Risks

The concerns arising from concurrent operations have been closely monitored and were subject to periodic strategic-level reviews. Monthly preparedness assessment complements these reviews and, where indicated, remediation priorities have been made. Joint Operations Command continues to operate with dispersed components but has met performance targets. The Program of Major Service Activities has been subject to a comprehensive review and many important interoperability issues were addressed in Exercise Talisman Sabre 05.

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