Special Operations Command (Australia)
|Special Operations Command|
|Part of||Australian Defence Force|
|Headquarters location||Potts Point, New South Wales|
(The Cutting Edge)
|Major General Adam Findlay|
The Special Operations Command (SOCOMD) is a command within the Australian Defence Force. Special Operations Command was established on 5 May 2003 to unite all of the Australian Army Special forces units and by 2008 was fully operational. Australia's Special Operations Command is of equivalent status to Australia's Fleet, Forces and Air Commands. It is modelled on the equivalent commands in the United States and British militaries, and is led by a major general as Special Operations Commander Australia (SOCAUST).
SOCOMD's origins begin in 1979 with the army creating a small Directorate Special Action Forces—Army. On 13 February 1990 Headquarters Special Forces was established, which was renamed in 1997 to Headquarters Special Operations and in 2003 to Special Operations Headquarters in SOCOMD.
- East Timor (May 2006–2007)
- Security for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne (March 2006)
- Afghanistan (2001–02) (2005–06) (2007–)
- Iraq (2003–09) (2014–)
- Security for the 2003 Rugby World Cup (October – November 2003)
- Security for President George W. Bush's visit to Canberra (October 2003)
While Special Operations Command had not formally commenced operations at the time, it appears that the headquarters may have overseen the boarding of the North Korean freighter MV Pong Su in April 2003, which involved elements of both the Special Air Service Regiment and 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Commando) Tactical Assault Groups.
In 2007, the APEC Summit hosted in Sydney had Special Operations Command involvement regarding security as world leaders, including John Howard, George W. Bush and other government and economic leaders were in attendance.
Order of battle
- Units under direct control of SOHQ:
- Special Air Service Regiment (Swanbourne, WA)
Incorporates the role of Tactical Assault Group (West).
- 1 Squadron
- 2 Squadron
- 3 Squadron
- 4 Squadron
- 152 Signals Squadron
- Specialist Support Squadron
- Operational Support Squadron
- 1st Commando Regiment a mixed Regular Army and Army Reserve Unit
- 2nd Commando Regiment (Holsworthy, NSW)
Incorporates the role of Tactical Assault Group (East).
- A Company
- B Company
- C Company
- D Company
- 126 Signals Squadron
- Operations Support Company
- Logistics Support Company
- Special Operations Engineer Regiment (Sydney, NSW)
- A Squadron
- B Squadron
- Logistic Support Troop
Special Operations Commander Australia (SOCAUST)
The Special Operations Commander Australia (SOCAUST) is responsible for the peacetime 'raise, train and sustain' functions of Special Operations Command reporting to the Chief of Army whilst the Chief of Joint Operations is responsible for the operational functions of Special Operations Command deployments. The SOCAUST is responsible for the domestic counter-terrorism deployments of Special Operations Command reporting directly to the Chief of the Defence Force.
The following have held the position of Special Operations Commander Australia, with the ranks and honours as at the completion of their tenure:
|Rank||Name||Post-nominals||Term began||Term ended||Notes|
|Major General||Lewis, DuncanDuncan Lewis||DSC, CSC||May 2002||October 2004|
|Major General||Hindmarsh, MikeMike Hindmarsh||AO, CSC||October 2004||February 2008|
|Major General||McOwan, TimTim McOwan||DSC, CSM||February 2008||January 2011|
|Major General||Gilmore, GusGus Gilmore||AO, DSC||January 2011||September 2013|
|Brigadier||McDaniel, DanielDaniel McDaniel||DSC, DSM||September 2013||December 2014|
|Major General||Sengelman, JeffJeff Sengelman||DSC, AM, CSC||December 2014||June 2017|
|Major General||Findlay, AdamAdam Findlay||AM||June 2017||Incumbent|||
- Special Operations Command (New Zealand)
- United States Special Operations Command Pacific
- Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
- The Australian Army – Modernisation from Beersheba and Beyond (PDF) (Report). Australian Army. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
- Senator Robert Hill, Minister for Defence (5 May 2003). "New Special Operations Command" (Press release). Department of Defence. Archived from the original on 2 June 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
- Prime Minister John Howard (19 December 2002). "Expansion of Special Forces Counter Terrorist Capability and new Special Operations Command" (Press release). Prime Minister of Australia.
- Goh, Puay Hock (Francis) (June 2011). How should SOF be organized? (PDF) (Master's thesis). U.S. Navy Postgraduate School. OCLC 743235192. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- Grant (Ret.), Brigadier William 'Mac'. "Reserve Commandos inherit a remarkable legacy" (PDF). Defence Reserves Yearbook 2004–2005. Executive Media Pty Ltd. Australian Defence Force. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- Davies, Andrew; Jennings, Peter; Scheer, Benjamin (2014). A Versatile Force: The Future of Australia's Special Operations Capability (PDF). Barton, Australian Capital Territory: Australian Strategic Policy Institute. ISBN 9781921302978. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
- Boer, Cpl Corinne (19 April 2007). "Back into fray". Army: The Soldiers' Newspaper (1164 ed.). Canberra, Australia: Department of Defence. ISSN 0729-5685.
- Logue, Jason (8 May 2003). "Tartan TAG". Army: The Soldiers' Newspaper (1073 ed.). Canberra: Department of Defence. ISSN 0729-5685. Archived from the original on 7 July 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
- "Special Operations Logistics Squadron". Australia Army. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
- Burton, Cpl Sean (4 November 2004). "Top people top job – Special ops support company raised". Army: The Soldiers' Newspaper (1109 ed.). Canberra, Australia: Department of Defence. ISSN 0729-5685.
- Kuring 2004, p. 435.
- Blaxland 2014, p. 328.
- "Special Operations Commander Australia". Australian Army: Our leaders. Department of Defence. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
- Blaxland, John (2014). The Australian Army from Whitlam to Howard. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107043657.
- Kuring, Ian (2004). Redcoats to Cams: A History of Australian Infantry 1788–2001. Loftus, New South Wales: Australian Military Historical Publications. ISBN 1876439998.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Special forces of Australia.|
- Senator Robert Hill, Minister for Defence (25 September 2003). "Defence Support To World Cup Security" (Press release). Department of Defence. Archived from the original on 2 June 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
- Senator Robert Hill, Minister for Defence (29 October 2005). "New Special Operations Commander Appointed" (Press release). Department of Defence. Archived from the original on 2 June 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
- Horner, David (2002). SAS: Phantoms of War. A History of the Australian Special Air Service (Second ed.). Sydney, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-647-9.