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Operation CATALYST

PLEASE NOTE: The text and links contained on this page refer to a past operation. It is provided for archive purposes only. Current Operations are listed on the Global Operations webpage.

Map of Iraq

Operation CATALYST was the ADF's contribution to the US-led Multinational Force effort to develop a secure and stable environment in Iraq and assist national recovery programs.

Australian forces first deployed to Iraq in 2003 as part of the international coalition efforts to reduce Iraq’s potential threat to the region. Servicemen and women from all three services were deployed in a range of combat and combat support roles.

This role then developed into a key security and training role enabling the people of Iraq to take responsibility for their own security.
Under Operation CATALYST, this role included the deployment of battlegroups to the Al Muthanna and Dhi Qar provinces, the Australian Army Training Team – Iraq, embedded personnel on key coalition headquarters, a naval frigate and naval training team, RAAF C130 transport and P3 Orion surveillance aircraft, Defence civilian advisors in the Iraqi Ministry of Defence, the Security Detachment (SECDET) protecting the Australian diplomatic mission and a national headquarters.

Defence formally concluded its military commitment to the rehabilitation of Iraq on 31 July 2009, with the final 11 ADF members,working in various United States-led coalition headquarters, withdrawing on 29 July 2009. More than 20000 ADF personnel have seen service in Iraq as part of Operation CATALYST between 2003 – 2009.