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Australian Defence Force

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The Flag of the Australian Defense Force.

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 201,000 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.

The ADF is technologically sophisticated but relatively small. Although the ADF's 139,023 full-time active-duty personnel, 61,850 active reserves and 42,166 standby reserves make it the largest military in Oceania, it is still smaller than most Asian militaries. Nonetheless, the ADF is supported by a significant budget by worldwide standards and is able to deploy forces in multiple locations outside Australia.


  • Active Personnel: 151,100 (Army: 49,600; Air Force: 43,500; Navy: 58,000)
  • Reserve Personnel: 134,200
  • Budget: $44,460,000,000 (2.6% of GDP)
  • Commander in Chief: Queen Elizabeth II (through Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove)
  • Minister of Defense: Marise Payne
  • Chief of the Defence Force: Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin
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