Maritime Border Command (Australia)

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Maritime Border Command
Active 2005–present
Country Australia
Role Maritime security
Maritime surveillance
Border control
Part of joint Australian Border Force/Australian Defence Force
Headquarters location Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Rear Admiral Peter Laver

The Maritime Border Command (MBC) is the principal civil maritime security authority and de facto coast guard of Australia. It is a multi-agency command within the Department of Home Affairs comprising both Australian Border Force and Australian Defence Force personnel led by a Royal Australian Navy Rear Admiral.[1][2]

The Command was established in 2005 originally named the Joint Offshore Protection Command. In October 2006 it was renamed to the Border Protection Command and was again renamed to its current name in July 2015 to coincide with the establishment of the Australian Border Force.[3]


The Command is constituted by elements of the Australian Border Force and the Australian Defence Force, with its headquarters in Canberra and is part of the Operations Group of the ABF.[2] The Australian Border Force is part of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Since September 2013, the Maritime Border Command has supported the Operation Sovereign Borders Joint Agency Taskforce.

The ADF elements of MBC are commanded from Northern Command in Darwin, Northern Territory.


The MBC delivers a coordinated national approach to offshore protection by operating as a single maritime surveillance, response and interception agency.

It detects and deters a wide range of illegal activities using a combination of ABF and Defence aircraft and vessels. ABF response assets include Coastwatch aircraft and Marine Unit patrol vessels. Its activities take place under a variety of legislation covering areas such as customs, fisheries, quarantine, immigration, environment and law enforcement.

The Command is responsible for coordinating and controlling operations to protect Australia's national interests against the following maritime security threats:

  • Illegal exploitation of natural resources
  • Illegal activity in protected areas
  • Unauthorised maritime arrivals
  • Prohibited imports/exports
  • Maritime Terrorism
  • Piracy
  • Compromise to Bio-security
  • Marine pollution.


Rank Name Service Term began Term ended
Commander Border Protection
Rear Admiral James Goldrick AM, CSC, RAN Navy October 2006 May 2008
Rear Admiral Allan du Toit AM, RAN Navy May 2008 February 2010
Rear Admiral Tim Barrett AM, CSC, RAN Navy February 2010 December 2011
Rear Admiral David Johnston AM, RAN Navy December 2011 December 2013
Rear Admiral Michael Noonan AM, RAN Navy December 2013 14 January 2016
Commander Maritime Border Command
Rear Admiral Peter Laver AM, RAN Navy 14 January 2016 Incumbent

See also


  1. ^ "Maritime Border Command – Australian Border Force". Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Department of Immigration and Border Protection – Annual Report 2015–16" (PDF). Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Maritime Border Command's History – Australian Border Force". Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Retrieved 7 December 2016.

External links

  • Border Protection Command
  • Rear Admiral Russ Crane Increasing our offshore maritime security
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