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Intended Result 1. Defence meets operational capability requirements and supports the Australian community as directed

Defence operations and activities were successfully planned and executed as directed by Government, enabled by effective engagement across departments and agencies, and with global partners.

Domestically Defence provided both emergency and non-emergency assistance to the civil community, including in response to major bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic. Continued support was provided to the nation’s civil maritime security through Defence’s contribution to Maritime Border Command for their operations in the Antarctic.

Internationally Defence contributed to a range of efforts to uphold global security and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in Australia’s near region.

Impacts to operations and activities due to COVID-19, and the associated movement restrictions, were effectively minimised. A number of operations and activities were cancelled as a result of international travel and entry bans imposed by nations.

Defence also collaborated effectively with other departments and agencies on longer-term complex issues such as defeating terrorism, and on future operations requiring Government consideration.


1.1 Conduct and sustain operations where our interests are engaged

Performance Criteria

Assessment of operations against directed outcomes agreed with Government


All Government directed tasks are met


2019-20 Defence Corporate Plan

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019-20

Activity 1.1

Program 1.2




Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Defence engaged effectively both internationally and domestically to successfully conduct and sustain operations and activities in accordance with Government direction.

Departmental submissions to Government in relation to Defence operations and activities ere completed in line with expectations. Additional effort was invested in ensuring that advice to Government effectively and accurately fused policy and operational inputs and as delivered in a consistently timely manner. The use of verbal operational briefs has been expanded to augment written briefs and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the briefing process.


The number of personnel deployed for each operation is approximate, as personnel numbers fluctuate within the reporting period for various reasons, such as personnel rotations and changes to force structure.

Operation ACCORDION (Middle East region)

Support to operations in the Middle East region, including Operations HIGHROAD, MANITO and OKRA.

  Personnel deployed: 600 including Air Task Group

Operation AUGURY (Philippines)

Enhance the counter-terrorism and counter violent extremism capabilities of the Armed Force of the Philippines.

Note: ceased and transitioned to Enhanced Defence Cooperation Program—Philippines arrangements with effect from 1 December 2019.

  Personnel deployed: 263 in 2019–20 noting the operation ceased on 1 December 2019

Operation ARGOS (North-East Asia)

Provide an ADF contribution to a US-led multinational effort to enforce United Nations Security Council sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

  Personnel deployed: various (numbers commensurate with the platform assigned)

Operation ASLAN (South Sudan)

Contribution of staff and military liaison officers to the UN mission in the Republic of South Sudan.

  Personnel deployed: 20

Operation BANNISTER (worldwide)

Deployment of planning teams in support of local sensitivity assessments or other activities as required.

  Personnel deployed: various (numbers dictated by planning team requirements)

Operation CHARTER

Contribution to the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.

  Personnel deployed: 3 (note: Major General Pearce, UN Force Commander, is filling a UN position, and is not deployed on Operation CHARTER as part of the ADF contingent, and therefore is not included as a part of the deployed force number of 3)

Operation FORTITUDE (Lebanon/Syria)

Provide mentoring, training, advice and assistance to the Republic of Fiji Military Forces United Nations Disengagement Observer Force contingent in Camp Ziouani, Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

  Personnel deployed: 1

Operation GATEWAY (North Indian Ocean/South China Sea)

Maritime surveillance patrols in the North Indian Ocean and South China Sea.

  Personnel deployed: periodic deployment of 20

Operation HIGHROAD (Afghanistan)

Contribution to the NATO Resolute Support Mission—Afghanistan.

  Personnel deployed: 200

Operation LINESMEN (Republic of Korea)

Assist United Nations Command with verification activities associated with the withdrawal of Republic of Korea guard posts from the immediate area of the Military Demarcation Line and Demilitarized Zone.

  Personnel deployed: 3

Operation MANITOU (Middle East region/maritime area)

ADF contribution to maritime security operations in the Middle East region and counter-piracy in the Arabian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. Includes support to the International Maritime Security Construct and Combined Maritime Forces.

  Personnel deployed: 200

Operation MAZURKA (Egypt)

ADF contribution to the Multinational Force and Observers. ADF personnel in the Sinai are located at Forward Operating Base North (in the vicinity of El Gorah) and South Camp (in the vicinity of Sharm el-Sheikh). Positions are spread across operations, personnel, administration

and support functions. From March 2017 to January 2020, Australia provided the two-star force commander.

  Personnel deployed: 27

Operation OKRA (Middle East region and Iraq/Syria)

ADF operations in Iraq and Syria to support the coalition response to the Iraq crisis, including the deployment of forces to disrupt and degrade Daesh.

  Personnel deployed: 300

Operation ORENDA (Mali)

ADF contribution to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.

  Personnel deployed: 1 member was to be deployed; however, COVID-19 restrictions prevented this from occurring within the reporting period

Operation PALADIN (Israel/Lebanon/Syria)

ADF contribution of military observers and staff officers (in Lebanon, Syria and Israel) to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization.

  Personnel deployed: 12

Operation RENDER SAFE (Solomon Islands)

Deployment of specialist engineering, explosive ordnance disposal and supporting capabilities (including Royal Australian Navy platforms) as part of a multinational operation—planned and led by the ADF—to dispose of explosive remnants of war.

  Personnel deployed: various (numbers dictated by requirements of reactive or planned activity)

Operation RESOLUTE (border protection, including support to Operation


Contribution to the whole-of-government effort to protect Australia’s offshore

maritime interests.

  Personnel deployed: 600

Operation SOLANIA (South-West Pacific)

Provision of surveillance support to the Pacific Islands countries.

  Personnel deployed: various (numbers commensurate with the platform assigned)

Operation SOUTHERN DISCOVERY (Antarctica)

ADF support to whole-of-government activities in the Antarctic region, including airlift and aeromedical evacuation support.

  Personnel deployed: up to 15 during the main summer period (19 December to 20 March)

Operation STEADFAST (Iraq)

Deployment of staff to Headquarters NATO Mission Iraq supporting the continued capacity building of the Iraqi Security Forces.

  Personnel deployed: 2

All Defence operations achieved intended outcomes within the reporting period


1.2 Contribute to national security and support tasks

Performance Criteria

Assessment of Defence support provided to contribute to whole-of-government outcomes


All Government directed tasks are met


2019-20 Defence Corporate Plan

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019-20

Activity 1.2

Program 1.1, 1.3




Defence engaged effectively across departments and agencies to contribute to operations and activities in direct support of Australia’s national security and whole-of-government outcomes

During 2019–20, Defence responded to both emergency and non-emergency requests for ADF assistance made by affected states and territories through Defence Assistance to the Civil Community (DACC) arrangements, the volume of which has increased significantly in

recent years. Specific operations and activities included responses to significant bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ongoing commitment to civil maritime security through Defence’s contribution to Maritime Border Command for its activities in Antarctica.



Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 2019–2020 (domestic)

ADF support to the state and territory governments, under the provisions of DACC, to provide emergency assistance and initial recovery assistance over the 2019–2020 bushfire season.

  Personnel deployed (approximate): 6,500

From 6 September to 31 December 2019 Defence supported the state and territory authorities in fighting bushfires, through responding to nine DACC 1 (localised, short-term emergency responses) and 85 DACC 2 (large-scale and/or non-localised emergency responses) requests for assistance:

  55 in New South Wales

  14 in Victoria

  5 in Queensland

  10 in South Australia

  1 in Western Australia.

After the establishment of Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 2019–2020, Defence responded to the following individual requests for assistance under the overarching DACC 2 requests:

  220 in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory

  123 in Victoria

  983 in South Australia.

Notable ADF achievements include:

  supporting 527 evacuees at Defence bases

  returning 382 evacuees to their homes by fixed-wing aircraft

  serving over 77,250 meals to locals, including evacuees, emergency service workers and firefighters

  clearing over 4,800 km of roads

  clearing/repairing over 1,250 km of damaged fencing

  purifying around 10 million litres of water in Bega and on Kangaroo Island.

Defence also contributed to the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements. Our input will inform the Royal Commission’s report and its recommendations for mitigating and responding to future natural disasters.

Operation COVID-19 ASSIST (domestic)

ADF support to the federal and state and territory governments and jurisdiction agencies, to respond to the impacts of COVID-19.

  Personnel deployed (approximate): 2,200 at the peak of Operation COVID-19 ASSIST in March and April

Operation COVID-19 ASSIST was established on 1 April 2020, led by Major General Paul Kenny DSC DSM.

ADF members and Defence civilians were deployed across Australia on a range of tasks including:

  support to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the repatriation of Australian citizens from overseas

  planning support and liaison roles

  support to local law enforcement agencies in ensuring quarantine compliance and operating checkpoints

  frontline medical assistance

  support to the defence industry

  assistance to Australia’s partners in the Indo-Pacific.

Notable achievements include:

  Defence reopened and operated the emergency department in Tasmania’s North West Regional Hospital after staff were sent home for two weeks quarantine following an outbreak of COVID-19. This deployment was crucial to ensuring critical health services in Tasmania were maintained

  Defence personnel assisted health authorities to undertake frontline medical testing across Australia

  Defence personnel contributed to the production of surgical face masks and ventilators

  Chief Defence Scientist Professor Tanya Monro established a Rapid Response Group to research possible methods of repurposing non-invasive ventilators to perform as invasive ventilators

  Defence accelerated the payment of supplier invoices, fast-tracking over $8 billion in payments to help mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 on defence industry

  Defence released $870 million of estate works to the market early to provide new jobs and business opportunities across Australia.