1100 ADF now assigned to COVID-19 fight

Approximately 1100 Australian Defence Force personnel are now deployed as part of Operation COVID-19 Assist to help civilian authorities in the fight against the disease.

CAPTION: Australian Army soldiers support New South Wales Police with quarantine compliance checks in Sydney. Corporal Chris Beerens.



Official info as of 7.30am 2 April 2020 [released by Defence around 11am]

The ADF is contributing to the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic with a range of logistical and personnel support.

Defence has prepared responses to a range of contingencies through the Emergency Management Australia-led response.



Approximately 1100 personnel are deployed as part of Operation COVID-19 Assist

  •  Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds announced Operation COVID-19 Assist on April 1, 2020.
  • Current nation-wide Defence support includes:
    • Reconnaissance and planning support teams to all state and territory governments to assist with emergency response planning.
    • Contact tracing teams to work with authorities.
    • Supporting law enforcement agencies with mandatory quarantine arrangements for air arrivals into Australia.
  • The ADF will not be authorised as law enforcement officers as this remains the responsibility of the states and territories.
  • Additionally, the ADF:
    • Has established the three-star-led COVID-19 task force to coordinate Defence’s internal response to COVID-19 and support the whole-of-government effort.
    • Is supporting Emergency Management Australia-led (EMA) planning for the National Communicable Disease Incidence of National Significance Plan in response to COVID-19.
    • Is supporting the Department of Health with logistics and specialist staff.
    • Has provided health, logistics and movements support to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Border Force repatriation and care of Australian Nationals on Christmas Island and Howard Springs via RAAF bases Learmonth and Darwin.
    • Has been supplying clinical and epidemiological support to the Department of Health National Incident Room since early February 2020.


State-by-state breakdown

*Note, the differences between total ADF support and in the state-by-state breakdowns can be attributed to personnel in headquarters staff and those preparing for tasks.

New South Wales – 402 personnel

  • 298 ADF personnel are supporting state police quarantine and self-isolation directions at Sydney Airport and several local hotels.
  • Since March 26, 15 soldiers from the Army have been assisting the Foodbank charity, based in Bankstown, Sydney. The soldiers are helping to pack food parcels for people who have been required to self-isolate and have no means to secure their own food supply.
  • 45 personnel are involved in planning support and contact tracing teams.

Queensland – 181 personnel

  • 74 ADF personnel are supporting state policewith the reception of international arrivals at Cairns and Brisbane airports.
  • 16 personnel are supporting state police quarantine compliance checks of international arrivals at a Cairns hotel.
  • 12 personnel are involved in planning support and contact tracing teams.

Victoria – 41 personnel

  • 19 personnel are involved in planning support and contact tracing teams.
  • Defence provided 12 personnel to support surgical face mask factory in Lemnos, Victoria. This small team of highly qualified engineering maintenance specialists will assist until supplementary civilian workers can be recruited.

Western Australia – 79 personnel

  • 34 personnel supported state police conduct vehicle checkpoints in Perth to manage road closures.
  • 12 personnel are involved in planning support and contact tracing teams.
  • A small number supported the movement of baggage from Fremantle to Perth Airport and Rottnest Island Ferry Terminal

South Australia – 38 personnel

  • 10 personnel are involved in planning support.

Tasmania – 64 personnel

  • 40 personnel are supporting state police quarantine complicance checks in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie.
  • 16 personnel are involved planning support and contact tracing teams.

Northern Territory – 99 personnel

  • 39 personnel are providing logistics, communications and medic support to the NT Police at three Northern Territory border control locations on the Stuart, the Barkly and the Victoria Highways.
    • The logistics are focused on catering and other sustainment operations for the NT Police in the remote locations.
    • The communications support will assist police data and voice transmission in the remote locations with limited reception.
    • The medic support will assist police in the health screening of civilians who are trafficking through the areas.
    • ADF personnel are not involved in the enforcement of border controls.
  • 7 personnel are involved planning support and contact tracing teams, and liaison roles.
  • 3 personnel have deployed to perform quarantine compliance checks.









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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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