Operation RESOLUTE is the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) contribution to the whole-of-government effort to protect Australia's borders and offshore maritime interests through surveillance and response in the maritime approaches to Australia.
Operation RESOLUTE covers approximately 10 per cent of the world's surface and includes the 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). 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 protects Australia's maritime domain from security threats, including:
- 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 may be on Operation RESOLUTE either at sea, in the air or on the land. They work alongside personnel from ABF staff and other agencies. This number fluctuates depending on how many assets are assigned to the mission at the time.
The following ADF elements may be allocated to Operation RESOLUTE:
- Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to provide aerial surveillance of Australia's north-west and northern approaches;
- Royal Australian 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
- Large Hull Vessels on an as required basis.
In addition, ADF units, whilst not assigned to Operation RESOLUTE, also contribute to the overall surveillance and security effort through their presence and regular transits of the area.