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Operation Resolute

Members of Transit Security Element 57, from 1 Platoon 'A' Commpany 8/9 RAR, conduct Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) Training with members of ASSAIL TWO whilst aboard HMAS BROOME during an Operation RESOLUTE Patrol.

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 Peter Laver, 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 800 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 Customs and Border Protection Service and other agencies.

ADF resources allocated to Operation RESOLUTE comprise:

  • Air Force AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft that provide aerial surveillance of Australia's north-west and northern approaches;
  • Navy Armidale Class Patrol Boats (ACPBs) operating daily throughout Australia's northern offshore 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, Army and Air Force personnel who embark in the ACPBs; and
  • Two Navy Major Fleet Units (MFU) 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.