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Portal:Military of Australia

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The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is the military organisation responsible for the defence of Australia. It consists of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and a number of 'tri-service' units. The ADF has a strength of just under 80,000 full-time personnel and active reservists, and is supported by the Department of Defence and several other civilian agencies.

During the first decades of the 20th century, the Australian Government established the armed services as separate organisations. Each service had an independent chain of command. In 1976, the government made a strategic change and established the ADF to place the services under a single headquarters. Over time, the degree of integration has increased and tri-service headquarters, logistics and training institutions have supplanted many single-service establishments.

Selected article

Sinking HMAS Canberra (D33) with US destroyers on 9 August 1942.jpg

The Battle of Savo Island, also known as the First Battle of Savo Island and, in Japanese sources, as the First Battle of the Solomon Sea, took place August 8–9, 1942, and was a naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II, between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval forces. The battle was the first major naval engagement during the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands campaign and a victory for Japan. Australia contributed two heavy cruiser to the battle, HMAS Australia and Canberra, navy Coastwatchers and a small number of Air Force aircraft. On August 9 Canberra was struck by two torpedoes and over 20 salvoes of 8 inch shellfire, Canberra was later scuttled by United States Navy destroyers.

Selected image

Royal Australian Navy officer during RIMPAC 2014.jpg

Photo credit: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Johans Chavarro
A Royal Australian Navy officer assigned to HMAS Success in 2014

Selected quote

"On Anzac eve we dug in among friends. At last I felt like an Anzac, and I imagine there were 600 others like me,"

— Captain Reg Saunders, said following the withdrawal during the Battle of Kapyong

Selected anniversaries

November 20

Did you know...

AV2767 Crusader in 1945

New articles


  • 8 November, 2010 – The Spitfire flown by, and remains of, Flight Lieutenant Henry Lacy Smith have been found in Normandy. He was killed after being shot down five days after D-Day during World War II.Read more...
  • 16 March, 2010 – The remains of Special Air Service Patrolman Lieutenant Kenneth Hudson and Private Robert Moncrieff have been found after being missing in action since 1966 during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation.Read more...
  • 18 February, 2010 – An Australian Defence Force inquiry has backed navy seamen who saved their colleagues before asylum seekers when a boat exploded near Ashmore Reef last year. Read more...
  • 13 February, 2010 – Japan, Australia To Sign Military Logistics Pact-Nikkei. Read more...
  • 30 July, 2009 – The remains of Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver, missing in action (MIA) in Vietnam have been found. They were the last Australian MIA in Vietnam. Read more...
  • 16 January, 2009 – Trooper Mark Donaldson is awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia following his actions in Afghanistan on 2 September 2008. Read more...

Selected biography

Ordinary Seaman Teddy Sheean

Ordinary Seaman Teddy Sheean was a sailor in the Royal Australian Navy during World War II. Teddy Sheean was posted on the Bathurst-class corvette HMAS Armidale in 1942 when it was given the task of landing commandos at Betano. On 1 December during the second attempt to reach Betano, Armidale came under attack. Teddy Sheean manned an Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun and was wounded by strafing Japanese planes. He was confirmed with shooting down a bomber and damaging a further two aircraft. Sheean went down with the ship, still strapped into the gun and still shooting at the attacking aircraft. For his actions during the war the Collins-class submarine HMAS Sheean was named after him, with the motto "Fight On".

Daily unit

A No. 76 Squadron Hawk 127 in special "cougar" colour scheme.

No. 76 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force training squadron and operates Hawk 127 aircraft from RAAF Base Williamtown. It was formed as a fighter unit in 1942. The squadron saw extensive combat during World War II, flying Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawks in and around New Guinea. Following the war the Squadron formed part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan and was a jet fighter squadron during the Cold War.

Selected equipment

Australia's Phase 3 ASLAV.jpg

The Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV), is an Australian version of the Mowag Piranha. It is a highly mobile, eight wheeled amphibious armoured vehicle used for reconnaissance and surveillance operations. The ASLAV has a range of 600 km with a top road speed of 100 km/h.. ASLAVs have seen operational service with the Australian Army in East Timor and Iraq.


Major topics

Army • History
Armoured Units, Army Aviation, Corps, First Australian Imperial Force, Second Australian Imperial Force, Brigades, Cadets, Royal Military College, Enlisted Ranks, Memorial, Officer Ranks, RAR, Regiments, Senior Officers, Regional Surveillance Units, Structure, VC Recipients, Weapons

RAN • History
Admiral of the Fleet, Bases, Cadets, Clearance Divers, Current Ships, Fleet Air Arm, Future, Historic ships, HMAS, Memorial, Patrol Boat Group, Persian Gulf Operations, RANVR, Reserve, Ship classes, Silent Service, WRANS

RAAF • History
Aircraft, Airfield Defence Guards, Bases, Chief of Air Force, Flights, First Tactical Air Force, Ranks, Roulettes, Squadrons, Structure

Special Forces
1st Commando Regiment, 2nd Commando Regiment, 171st Squadron, 200 Flight, Coastwatchers, Special Operations Engineer Regiment, SASR, SOCOMD, Tactical Assault Group, WWII Commando companies, Z Special Unit

Featured, A-Class and Good content

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A Class: 2/18th Battalion (Australia)Admiralty Islands campaignAir Combat Group RAAFAlan CharlesworthAustralian Army during World War IIAustralian light destroyer projectBattle of Bita PakaBattle of KaiapitBattle of KapyongBattle of Slater's KnollBattle of WauBoeing C-17 Globemaster III in Australian serviceCentral Flying School RAAFClare StevensonClarence Smith JeffriesEric Harrison (RAAF officer)First Battle of Maryang SanFrank BerrymanFrank BladinFrank LukisGeorge Alan VaseyGeorge Julian HowellGeorge IngramGeorge MackinoltyBattle of Goodenough IslandHenry PetreHenry WrigleyHippolyte De La RueHorace RobertsonJohn NorthcottJoseph MaxwellLanding at SaidorLeslie MorsheadLewis McGeeNo. 78 Wing RAAFNo. 81 Wing RAAFNo. 82 Wing RAAFNo. 84 Wing RAAFNo. 86 Wing RAAFOperation BrevityOperation CoburgOperation CrimpOrdnance QF 25-pounder ShortPercy Herbert CherryPercy StattonRoy BurstonRupert DownesSamuel BurstonSouth West Pacific Area (command)Sydney RowellTeddy SheeanTet OffensiveVernon SturdeeWilfred ArthurWilliam Anderson (RAAF officer)William McAloney

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