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 the Australian government's resultant Pacific Solution. The focus of Operation Relex was illegal immigration, with assets from all three services of the ADF deployed 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.

Operation Relex was folded into the broader border protection activity named Operation Resolute which commenced in July 2006. In 2013, the Abbott Government implemented Operation Sovereign Borders.

Operational Service Medal – Border Protection[edit]

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

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.

Op Relex[edit]

3 September to 13 March 2002

Rotation Date from Date to Ship(s) Unit/Sub Unit
TSE 1 OCT MID DEC MID TEMPA 5/7 RAR
TSE 1 MID NOVEMBER ERALY DEC HMAS ARUNTA 5/7 RAR
TSE 3 1 Sep 1 Dec HMAS Lewin 1st Armoured Regiment (Tank) and 5/7RAR
TSE 4 1 Sep 1 Nov HMAS Tobruk 1st Armoured Regiment (Tank)
TSE 5 1 Nov 20 Jan 2 HMA Ships Arunta and Warramunga 101 MDM BTY, 8/12 Medium Regiment
TSE 6 1 Jan 2 18 Feb 2 HMAS Melville 103 MDM BTY, 8/12 MDM REGT
TSE 7
TSE 8
TSE 9
TSE 10
TSE 11 HMAS ANZAC 1st Armoured Regiment
TSE 12 27 March 2002 2 May 2002 HMAS Leeuwin & HMAS Melville 1 CSSB + 5/7 RAR Detachment

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 15 Apr 2 1 Jul 02 HMAS Adelaide 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 2 Feb 03 HMAS Leeuwin, Warramunga & Tobruk 1st Armoured/ 2 Cav Regiment
TSE 24 16 Sep 2 1 Jan 3 HMAS Melville 1 BDE
TSE 25 2 Jul 2 Sep HMAS Tobruk, Adelaide & Warramunga 2CER, 1 Fd Regt, 2/14 LHR
TSE 26 2 Dec 3 Mar HMAS Warramunga[citation needed] 1 JSU, 16 ADR, 4th MP Company
TSE 27
TSE 28
TSE 29
TSE 30
TSE 31 4 Field Regiment
TSE 32 Feb 2004 May 2004 HMAS Anzac, HMAS Warramunga, HMAS Adelaide 1st Field Regiment (now 1st Regiment)
TSE 35 Oct 2004 4 Feb HMAS Ballarat, Parramatta 2 DIV units/ 8 BDE

HMA Ships Involved in Op Relex[edit]

Major Fleet Units

Relex
Unit Entered Operation Exited Operation
HMAS Adelaide 19 Sep 1 12 Oct 1
HMAS Anzac 19 Jan 2 7 Apr 2
HMAS Arunta 2 Sep 1 20 Sep 1
10 Oct 1 19 Dec 1
HMAS Newcastle 30 Aug 1 28 Sep 1
HMAS Warramunga 30 Aug 1 23 Sep 1
27 Sep 1 14 Nov 1
19 Dec 1 20 Jan 2
HMAS Manoora 2 Sep 1 6 Oct 1
HMAS Tobruk 10 Sep 1 14 Dec 1
HMAS Westralia 30 Aug 1 24 Sep 1
27 Sep 1 29 Sep 1
11 Oct 1 17 Oct 1
30 Oct 1 3 Nov 1
15 Nov 1 26 Nov 1
18 Jan 2 20 Jan 2
HMAS Leeuwin 14 Nov 1 2 Jan 2
16 Feb 2 14 Apr 2
HMAS Melville 30 Dec 1 18 Feb 2

Patrol Boats

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

References[edit]

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