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Program 2.1 - Operations Contributing to the Security of the Immediate Neighbourhood

An Air Force Aero Medical Evacuation Team fly seven wounded Australian soldiers from Ramstein Airbase in Germany to Australia on a C-17 aircraft.

Defence is focused on the security, stability and cohesion of our immediate neighbourhood, which we share with Indonesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and the island countries of the south-west Pacific.

Defence has completed one short-notice operation in Papua New Guinea (Cathedral) involving the provision of logistic support to national elections, and conducted five long lasting operations (Astute, Anode, Gateway, Solania and Tower) in the Asia-Pacific region. ADF support to stability in Timor-Leste (Astute) ceased on 19 April 2013, while the concurrent support to the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (Tower) ceased on 15 December 2012. Commitment to operations in Solomon Islands by the ADF through the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) ceased on 1 July 2013 prior to completing base closures and withdrawal on 5 September 2013. Periodic maritime surveillance missions continued through operations Solania and Gateway.

There were two AP-3C maritime patrol aircraft deployments conducted during the year (fewer than the historical norm due to competing priorities for the aircraft with Operation Resolute). In addition, Navy vessels operating or transiting the region provided the opportunity for surveillance reporting under Operation Solania.

The exercise Pacific Partnership 2013 was conducted between 25 May 2013 and 19 August 2013. During the mission, medical, dental, veterinary and engineering aid to Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga was delivered. Australia was the lead nation for activities in Papua New Guinea, with HMAS Tobruk providing assistance to the townships of Vanimo and Wewak. The total Australian commitment to the exercise was around 300 personnel.

Table 3.50 - Program 2.1 deliverables

Table 3.50 - Program 2.1 deliverables
Operation Objective Status
Tower 2006-12 Contribute to the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste Met
Astute 2006-13 Contribute security support to the Government of Timor-Leste and the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste Met
Anode 2003-13 Contribute to the DFAT-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands. The ADF mission is to assist the Solomon Islands Government in maintaining a secure environment in order to foster social, economic and political stability in Solomon Islands Met
Gateway 1981- Conduct Northern Indian Ocean and South China Sea maritime surveillance patrols Met
Cathedral May-July 2012 Provide airlift support to the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) between 30 May and 30 July 2012 in order to support the conduct of the 2012 PNG national election Met
Solania 1988- Conduct south-west Pacific maritime surveillance patrols Met

The ADF delivered the following operational elements in support of government directives to assist in regional development and contingencies that occurred in 2012-13.

Table 3.51 - Operations in support of regional development and contingencies

Table 3.51 - Operations in support of regional development and contingencies
Operation Objective Status
Pacific Partnership 2013 25 May - 19 August 2013 Provide annual humanitarian and civic assistance that improves United States and Australian military, and partner nation, capacity for dealing with future humanitarian assistance and disaster relief response contingencies in the region Met
Evan Assist 19-23 December 2012 Movement of disaster relief stores to Fiji and Samoa following Cyclone Evan Met