Our Purpose & Work


The Australian Defence Force is one of the world's leading military organisations. We fulfil key defensive roles as well as providing a range of peacetime services.

Defending Australia Defending Australia

Defending Australia and our interests

The ADF provides a formidable military capability built upon expertly-trained personnel and technically-advanced vessels, vehicles, aircraft and weapons. Working in close cooperation, the Navy, Army and Air Force are tasked with the defence of:

  • our nation, its borders and coastline
  • our people and their values, and
  • our way of life.

Helping Communities Helping Communities

Helping communities and supporting international operations

In addition to defending our nation, the ADF supports a broad range of operations in Australia and overseas, including:

  • supporting international security and counter-terrorism initiatives
  • protecting our borders from illegal activity and incursions
  • supporting humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, and
  • helping communities affected by natural disasters.

Protecting trade and commerce

The ADF provides many services that are critical to the safety of shipping - which accounts for 90% of our imports and exports - and the protection of our airspace. These include:

  • maritime and aerial patrols
  • maritime search and rescue services
  • hydrographic surveys for navigation purposes
  • anti-piracy and smuggling operations
  • meteorological support operations, and
  • maintaining a strategic strike capability.

Adapting to Complex Strategic Environments Adapting to Complex Strategic Environments

Adapting to complex strategic environments

Australia faces a more uncertain global strategic context over the next two decades globally. In order to deal with the challenges arising from this, the ADF must be a highly professional, well-governed and agile organisation that can respond to changing environments, seize opportunities and manage increasing strategic, political, cultural and technological complexity.