Our Purpose & Work

The Navy is tasked with the protection of Australia and her interests. This extends to keeping open the Sea Lines of Communication, which account for approximately 90% of all imports and exports.

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Defending Australia, its interests and its people

In cooperation with the Army and Air Force, the Navy is responsible for defending Australia, its coastline, its shipping lanes and its citizens. It also protects our waters from illegal fishing, drug running and illegal immigration; contributes to regional security; and supports global interests, through:

  • providing maritime patrol and response
  • maintaining a strategic strike capability
  • protecting shipping and offshore territories and resources, and
  • collecting and evaluating maritime intelligence.

Keeping the oceans safe Keeping the oceans safe
Keeping the oceans safe for shipping

On a day-to-day basis the Navy provides many services that are critical to the safety of shipping, and those engaged in professional and recreational seagoing. These include:

  • maritime search and rescue services
  • hydrographic surveys for navigation purposes
  • anti-piracy operations
  • meteorological support operations, and
  • maritime escort duties.

Supporting humanitarian and disaster-relief missions

In addition to defending our nation, the Navy is on permanent standby to participate in a broad range of operations in Australia and overseas. These include supporting international peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, and helping communities affected by natural disasters such as fire, flood and earthquake.

Recognising rank

Our epaulets identify rank and reflect career progression through the Navy.