The Australian Federal Police (AFP) International Deployment Group (IDG) was formally established in February 2004 and provides the Australian Government with a standing capacity to deploy Australian police domestically and internationally to contribute to stability and security operations, United Nations (UN) Missions and Capacity Development Missions.
The International Deployment Group has three core components:
- Australian based – providing executive, planning, administrative, intelligence, training and technical support for deployed personnel and strategic advice to the AFP Executive.
- Mission Component – providing a blend of sworn and unsworn personnel deployed to, or ready to deploy to, overseas missions and other operations as required.
- Specialist Response Group – providing ready response, highly-skilled tactical and specialist policing capability for rapid deployment to domestic and international operational situations.
The IDG contributes to the development, maintenance or restoration of the rule of law in countries that seek Australia's support. The IDG also contributes to United Nations Missions and to domestic initiatives within Australia such as the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER).
Strong partnerships with other key Commonwealth agencies, state and territory police services, international organisations and the private sector remain critical to the effective delivery of International Deployment Group business.
Currently the IDG manages approximately 440 members deployed to United Nations Missions in South Sudan and Cyprus and international missions in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, and Afghanistan.
The IDG also manages community policing in Australia's external territories of Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Norfolk Island and Jervis Bay.
Further information on current AFP IDG missions is provided below:
The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) commenced in 2003 in a response to a request from the Solomon Islands Government, after a significant breakdown in law and order. RAMSI's initial mandate was to restore law and order and by 2004 the security situation had stabilised. Today the Participating Police Force (PPF) component of RAMSI is focused on enhancing the skills and capabilities of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF). The aim of producing an independent force capable of maintaining law and order is based on a model of policing that is appropriate and affordable for the Solomon Islands. The PPF is compiled of sworn and unsworn AFP members, along with members from 13 Pacific Island nations.
Commencing in July 2004, the Timor Leste Police Development Program (TLPDP) is a bilateral capacity building program of assistance to the Policia Nacional de Timor Leste through an agreement between the Government of Timor Leste and the Government of Australia. The objectives of the TLPDP are to assist the Government of Republica Democratica de Timor-Leste to build the foundations of an effective and accountable police service. The program focuses on the provision of advice, training, infrastructure and enabling tools. The TLPDP comprises sworn AFP Police Officers, unsworn AFP staff, civilian specialists and locally employed staff.
The Nauru Police Force Police Capacity Program (NPFPCP) is a bilateral program that was established under a Memorandum of Understanding between Australia and Nauru in November 2004. The focus of the NPFPCP has been to develop and implement the foundations necessary for a professional, contemporary and competent policing organisation assisted by the development of governance instruments and systems, training and the provision of necessary physical resources.
The Samoa Australia Police Partnership (SAPP) commenced in 2009 and is currently a component of the Pacific Police Development Program (PPDP), which is a Government of Australia initiative supporting a broad range of bilateral and multi-country police capacity development initiatives throughout the Pacific region. The program is focused on strengthening core policing functions, organisational leadership, management and corporate support within the Samoa Ministry of Police and Prisons.
The AFP deployed to Tonga in 2008 as part of a Trilateral Police Development Program commitment with New Zealand and Tonga. Since that date AFP members have been deployed to support the Police Commander and members of the Tonga Police to achieve the program's goal of professionalising the Tonga Police. The AFP's contribution to the Tonga Police Development Program directly supports the Australian aid program's objective of helping people overcome poverty by promoting safety and security through improved operational effectiveness of Pacific Police.
In 2001, Government of Vanuatu requested assistance from Government of Australia (GoA) to improve the capabilities of the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF). Work commenced the following year and continued in varying capacity up until February 2011 when the Vanuatu Australia Police Project (VAPP) was formed. The VAPP is fully funded by GoA Overseas Development Aid funds through AusAID, and utilises the technical expertise from the AFP, in the form of Advisors. The VAPP continues its support for law enforcement capacity building initiatives, focusing on the recruit training and professionalism of the VPF, infrastructure, workforce renewal and improvement to internal governance. A new project design will commence in late 2013, which will extend the VAPP post 31 December 2013.
Papua New Guinea
The PNG-Australia Policing Partnership commenced in 2008 and is a police to police arrangement funded under the PPDP. Phase I of the program focused on a framework for improved Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) service delivery over a 30 year period. Phase II involved a transition from the design phase to the implementation of agreed activities focused on leadership and organisational reform.
The focus of these activities has been on enhancing professional development, logistics and infrastructure project management development, professional standards along with fraud and anti-corruption including financial intelligence. Activities will continue developing improved service delivery and positive behavioural change within the RPNGC.
United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) is one of the longest-running UN Peacekeeping missions. It was established in 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island. Since a de facto ceasefire in August 1974, UNFICYP has supervised the ceasefire lines; provided humanitarian assistance and maintained a buffer zone. The ceasefire lines extend over 180 kilometres across the island.
The AFP has contributed to the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) since 2006. In July 2011 UNMIS ended and the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) commenced. Since that date, AFP members have performed the role of police mentor, specialist advisor, planner or trainer. They continue to contribute to programs aimed at strengthening and restructuring the South Sudan Police Service consistent with democratic policing. Members directly assist in educating South Sudan Police by evaluating and conducting training in policing techniques and processes.
The AFP first deployed to Afghanistan in October 2007. The AFP role during this time involved providing specialist training for instructors, recruit training and assisting with building and infrastructure needs at the Provincial Training Centre (PTC). Once established and operating effectively, AFP members moved into a mentoring and advisory role, with Afghanistan National Police (ANP) instructors at the PTC conducting the majority of training. From May 2012, the program focused on a coordinated approach; building and developing the ANP and contributing to the targeting serious criminality through capacity development efforts. Today, the contingent in Afghanistan is made up of 13 members stationed in Kabul. The AFP continues to contribute personnel to the development of the ANP through the provision of training and institutional development in conjunction with the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan and International Security Assistance Force.
Pacific Police Development Program – Regional (PPDPR)
The Pacific Police Development Program (PPDP) is an Australian Government initiative supporting a broad range of police development activities throughout the Pacific region. The program works with police in Pacific nations on improving the rule of law as a prerequisite for economic, social and political development of the region. The program is operating a regional component, as well as country-specific bi-lateral programs in Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Nauru.
The PPDP-R provide policing support to micro states and whole of region needs. Direct support is provided to Kiribati, Niue, Tuvalu, the Republic of Marshall Islands, Palau, Cook Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. The Regional Mission focus is on police operational capacity, leadership, training needs and enabling services.
The AFP provides community policing services to the Australian External Territories of Christmas Island, Norfolk Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Jervis Bay. AFP members at these locations perform a variety of policing and related functions. These include: Australian customs; border protection and immigration functions; responsibilities for land and maritime search and rescue operations and coordination.
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