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Protecting Australia's border outside of our main airports and seaports relies on a strong maritime capability.  The Australian Border Force maintains an armed presence around Australia's coastline and responds to reported or suspected border incidents and illegal activity.  The risk to our maritime jurisdiction is managed jointly with other agencies through the Maritime Border Command and Operation Sovereign Borders.

Maritime Border Command

Maritime Border Command comprises a unique blend of both Departmental staff and Australian Defence Force members. It is led by a Rear Admiral appointed from the Department of Defence who is also a sworn  Australian Border Force officer, enabling operational control of both Australian Border Force assets and assigned Defence assets.  More information can be found at Maritime Border Command.

Operation Sovereign Borders   

Operation Sovereign Borders is a military-led, border security initiative supported and assisted by a wide range of federal government agencies.

The Operation Sovereign Borders Joint Agency Task Force has been established to ensure a whole-of-government effort to combat people smuggling and protect Australia's borders.


 More information is available at Operation Sovereign Borders

Air and marine vessels

The Australian Border Force's maritime operations are conducted by surface and air vessels which are either Australian Border Force assets or are assigned for use by the Department of Defence.

The Australian Border Force manages a fleet of patrol boats and specialist vessels which operate within and beyond Australia's 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone. 

Australian Border Force vessels include: