Maritime Border Command (Australia)

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

Maritime Border Command
RoleMaritime security
Maritime surveillance
Border control
Part ofjoint Australian Border Force/Australian Defence Force
Headquarters locationCanberra, Australian Capital Territory
Rear Admiral Lee Goddard


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 Term began Term ended
Commander Joint Offshore Protection Command
Rear Admiral Russ Crane CSM March 2005 May 2006
Rear Admiral James Goldrick AM, CSC May 2006 October 2006
Commander Border Protection Command
Rear Admiral James Goldrick AM, CSC October 2006 May 2008
Rear Admiral Allan du Toit AM May 2008 February 2010
Rear Admiral Tim Barrett AM, CSC February 2010 December 2011
Rear Admiral David Johnston AM December 2011 December 2013
Rear Admiral Michael Noonan AM December 2013 14 January 2016
Commander Maritime Border Command
Rear Admiral Peter Laver AM 14 January 2016 February 2019
Rear Admiral Lee Goddard CSC February 2019 Incumbent


  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.

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