Operation Relex

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Operation Relex is the name given to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) border protection operation in the country's northern approaches conducted between 2001 and 2006. The operation was instigated following the Tampa affair in September 2001 and its focus was on illegal immigration. Assets of all three services of the ADF were committed to the operation to prevent the arrival of Suspected Illegal Entry Vessels (SIEV) in the Australian migration zone.

The primary period of activity of Operation Relex was between October and December 2001 when ten SIEV were intercepted by HMA Ships Warramunga, Arunta and Leeuwin assisted by several Fremantle Class Patrol Boats.

More details on the non-military aspects of this operation are contained in the MV Tampa entry. Operation Relex was folded into the broader border protection activity named Operation Resolute which commenced in July 2006.

Operational Service Medal - Border Protection[edit]

The Australian Government issued a medal for service on Border Protection on 22 May 2012.[1]

Qualification[edit]

The Australian Operational Service Medal – Border Protection recognises the range of border protection operations conducted since 1997. To qualify, ADF members must have been deployed or force assigned for duty as a member of a declared operation:

  • for a period of not less than an aggregate of 30 days; or
  • completed 30 sorties from a unit assigned to a declared operation, provided that those sorties were conducted over a period of not less than an aggregate of 30 days at a rate of one sortie per day.

Applying for the medal[edit]

The Defence page is located at Defence Honours & Awards
Or you can download the AE376 application form directly.

A response to a question on the issue of the OSM-BP by DGPers-A COL Tony Hambleton was published in Army News (date unknown).

Op Relex[edit]

3 September to 13 March 2002

Rotation Date From Date To Ship(s) Unit/Sub Unit
TSE 1
TSE 2
TSE 3 Sep 01 Dec 01 5/7RAR
TSE 4 Sep 01 Nov 01 HMAS Tobruk 1st Armoured Regiment (Tank)
TSE 5 Nov 01 20 Jan 02 HMA Ships Arunta and Warramunga 101 MDM BTY, 8/12 Medium Regiment
TSE 6 01 JAN 02 18 FEB 02 HMAS Melville 103 MDM BTY, 8/12 MDM REGT
TSE 7
TSE 8
TSE 9
TSE 10
TSE 11
TSE 12

Op Relex II[edit]

14 March 2002 to 16 July 2006

Rotation Date From Date To Ship(s) Unit/Sub Unit
TSE 13 HMAS Darwin HQ BTY, 8/12 Medium Regiment
TSE 14 HMAS Darwin 101 MDM BTY, 8/12 Medium Regiment
TSE 15
TSE 16
TSE 17
TSE 18
TSE 19
TSE 20
TSE 21
TSE 22
TSE 23 26 Oct 02 02 Feb 03 HMAS Leeuwin, Warramunga & Tobruk 1st Armoured/ 2 Cav Regiment
TSE 24 16 Sep 02 1 Jan 03 HMAS Melville 1 BDE
TSE 25
TSE 26
TSE 27
TSE 28
TSE 29
TSE 30
TSE 31 4 Field Regiment
TSE 32 Feb 2004 1st Field Regiment (now 1st Regiment)

Op Resolute[edit]

HMA Ships Involved in Op Relex[edit]

Major Fleet Units

Relex
Unit Entered Operation Exited Operation
HMAS Adelaide 19 Sep 01 12 Oct 01
HMAS Anzac 19 Jan 02 7 Apr 02
HMAS Arunta 2 Sep 01 20 Sep 01
10 Oct 01 19 Dec 01
HMAS Newcastle 30 Aug 01 28 Sep 01
HMAS Warramunga 30 Aug 01 23 Sep 01
27 Sep 01 14 Nov 01
19 Dec 01 20 Jan 02
HMAS Manoora 2 Sep 01 6 Oct 01
HMAS Tobruk 10 Sep 01 14 Dec 01
HMAS Westralia 30 Aug 01 24 Sep 01
27 Sep 01 29 Sep 01
11 Oct 01 17 Oct 01
30 Oct 01 03 Nov 01
15 Nov 01 26 Nov 01
18 Jan 02 20 Jan 02
HMAS Leeuwin 14 Nov 01 2 Jan 02
16 Feb 02 14 Apr 02
HMAS Melville 30 Dec 01 18 Feb 02

Patrol Boats

Relex Cranberry
Unit Entered Operation Exited Operation Entered Operation Exited Operation
HMAS Bendigo 30 Sep 01 2 Oct 01 21 Sep 01 3- Sep 01
16 Oct 18 Oct 01 2 Oct 01 16 Oct 01
23 Oct 01 1 Nov 01 18 Oct 01 23 Oct 01
1 Feb 02 1 Nov 01 18 Oct 01 19 Nov 01
9 Feb 02 12 Feb 02 11 Jan 02 21 Jan 02
15 Feb 02 21 Feb 02 25 Jan 02 1 Feb 02
25 Feb 02 27 Feb 02 3 Feb 02 6 Feb 02
2 Mar 02 4 Mar 02 9 Feb 02 9 Feb 02
12 Feb 02 15 Feb 02
27 Feb 02 15 Feb 02
4 Mar 02 8 Mar 02
1 Apr 02 9 Apr 02
HMAS Bunbury 30 Sep 01 1 Oct 01 25 Sep 01 30 Sep 01
20 Oct 01 26 Oct 01 1 Oct 01 20 Oct 01
30 Oct 01 3 Nov 01 26 Oct 01 30 Oct 01
9 Nov 01 15 Nov 01 3 Nov 01 9 Nov 01
11 Feb 02 17 Feb 02 15 Nov 01 19 Nov 01
20 Feb 02 25 Feb 02 2 Feb 02 11 Feb 02
27 Feb 02 28 Feb 02 17 Feb 02 27 Feb 02
28 Feb 02 6 Mar 02
8 Mar 02 11 Mar 02
15 Mar 02 18 Mar 02
HMAS Cessnock 5 Nov 01 7 Nov 01 10 Aug 01 23 Aug 01
12 Nov 01 16 Nov 01 14 Sep 01 24 Sep 01
1 Dec 01 4 Dec 01 2 Nov 01 5 Nov 01
8 Dec 01 13 Dec 01 7 Nov 01 12 Nov 01
18 Dec 01 21 Dec 01 16 Nov 01 1 Dec 01
4 Mar 02 6 Mar 4 Dec 01 8 Dec 01
7 Mar 02 8 Mar 02 13 Dec 01 16 Dec 01
1 Mar 02 6 Mar 02 21 Dec 01 7 Jan 02
9 Mar 02 12 Mar 02 18 Feb 02 25 Feb 02
14 Mar 02 14 Mar 02 6 Mar 02 8 Mar 02
9 Mar 02 23 Mar 02
27 Mar 02 29 Mar 02
6 Apr 02 8 Apr 02
HMAS Dubbo 15 Sep 01 17 Sep 01 7 Sep 01 15 Sep 01
13 Oct 01 16 Oct 01 17 Sep 01 13 Oct 01
2 Nov 01 8 Nov 01 16 Oct 01 2 Nov 01
8 Nov 01 10 Nov 01 8 Nov 01 8 Nov 01
10 Nov 01 12 Nov 01
23 Mar 02 25 Mar 02
28 Mar 02 1 Apr 02
6 Apr 02 10 Apr 02
11 Apr 02 10 Apr 02
16 Apr 02 17 Apr 02
HMAS Ipswich 22 Dec 01 28 Dec 01 17 Aug 01 20 Aug 01
2 Jan 02 5 Jan 02 11 Oct 01 15 Oct 01
11 Jan 02 15 Jan 02 7 Dec 01 22 dec 01
23 Jan 02 26 Jan 02 28 Dec 01 2 Jan 02
5 Jan 02 12 Jan 02
15 Jan 02 23 Jan 02
15 Jan 02 23 Jan 02
26 Jan 02 4 Feb 02
HMAS Launceston 6 Nov 01 11 Nov 01 16 Aug 01 17 Sep 01
12 Dec 01 16 Dec 01 3 Nov 01 6 Nov 01
17 Dec 01 18 Dec 01 11 Nov 01 17 Nov 01
19 Feb 01 23 Feb 02 19 Nov 01 23 Nov 01
27 Feb 02 2 Mar 02 15 Feb 02 19 Feb 02
7 Mar 02 10 Mar 02 23 Feb 02 27 Feb 02
2 Mar 02 7 Mar 02
10 Mar 02 16 Mar 02
24 Mar 02 25 Mar 02
HMAS Townsville 12 Oct 01 18 Oct 01 29 Jul 01 3 Aug 01
23 Oct 01 28 Oct 01 21 Sep 01 12 Oct 01
21 Jan 02 26 Jan 02 18 Oct 02 23 Oct 02
30 Jan 02 4 Feb 02 26 Jan 02 30 Jan 02
4 Jan 02 21 Jan 02
26 Jan 02 30 Jan 02
4 Feb 02 9 Feb 02
12 Feb 02 23 Feb 02
HMAS Townsville 24 Nov 01 28 Nov 01 8 Nov 01 24 Nov 01
4 Dec 01 6 Dec 01 28 Nov 01 4 Dec 01
15 Feb 02 21 Feb 02 6 Dec 01 10 Dec 01
25 Feb 02 28 Feb 02 14 Feb 02 15 Feb 02
11 Mar 02 (16 Mar 02) 21 Feb 02 25 Feb 02
28 Feb 02 4 Mar 02
8 Mar 02 1 Mar 02
16 Mar 02 18 Mar 02
30 Mar 02 5 Apr 01
11 Apr 02 15 Apr 02
HMAS Whyalla 9 Oct 01 14 Oct 01 14 Sep 01 18 Sep 01
18 Oct 01 24 Oct 01 21 Sep 01 7 Oct 01
26 Dec 01 30 Dec 01 14 Oct 01 18 Oct 01
4 Jan 02 9 Jan 02 24 Oct 01 12 Nov 01
13 Jan 02 18 Jan 02 30 Dec 01 4 Jan 02
5 Jan 02 13 Jan 02
18 Jan 02 4 Feb 02
29 Mar 02 10 Apr 02
11 Apr 02 16 Apr 02
16 Apr 02 16 Apr 02
17 Apr 02 NDA
HMAS Woolongong 27 Oct 01 3 Nov 01 27 Oct 01 27 Oct 01
6 Nov 01 13 Nov 01 3 Oct 01 6 Nov 01
28 Nov 01 1 Dec 01 13 Dec 01 28 Nov 01
28 Jan 02 30 Jan 02 1 Dec 01 9 Dec 01
3 Feb 02 7 Feb 02 14 Dec 01 17 Dec 01
13 Feb 02 16 Feb 02 30 Dec 01 9 Feb 02
30 Jan 02 3 Feb 02
7 Feb 02 13 Feb 02
16 Feb 02 18 Feb 02
13 Apr 02 15 Apr 02

In 2013, the Abbott Government implemented Operation Sovereign Borders.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Australian Operational Service Medal - Border Protection". Australian Government, Department of Defence. Retrieved 2014-05-17.