Six armed tactical response police officers advancing in front of a large vehicle


The Tactical Response team provides a highly professional policing and emergency response in Australia and overseas. The team uses specialised, rapidly deployable technology and other tactical capabilities to support high-risk operations.

As a tactical response operator, you'll take part in operations to resolve, manage, and disrupt serious threats to the Australian community. You'll also conduct training and operations that support the Australian Government's interests overseas.

What you'll do

Tactical response operators are resilient, courageous and adaptable. You'll be trained in specialist areas, including:

  • specialist firearms and weapons
  • close-quarters tactics
  • advanced driving
  • maritime operations
  • tactical medics
  • chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear threat response
  • sophisticated command and control systems and other technologies
  • how to respond when political stability or security is threatened.

You'll undertake continuous training to make sure that you're ready to deploy at any time, to any part of the globe. You'll have the chance to work with advanced equipment and take part in innovative training programs. The Tactical Response team also has strong relationships with other specialist units internationally, allowing us to access cutting-edge technology, tactics, techniques and procedures.

The work of the Tactical Response team includes both planned operations and incident response in Australia and overseas.

Every member of the Tactical Response team is a qualified Police Tactical Group (PTG) operator who is trained to operate in urban, rural and marine environments. Team members can further specialise in advanced roles, including:

  • marksman
  • dynamic breacher
  • medic
  • tactical driver
  • technician (robotics, audio-visual feeds and digital systems)
  • chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist.

Combining these specialisations with the elite training and performance of the Tactical Response team makes a significant impact on any unfolding operational situation.

You'll also have the opportunity to work across teams and alongside people in many different roles in the AFP.

As a CPP officer, you'll have access to our wide range of benefits. Learn about our benefits and conditions.

To learn more about career progression, salary bands and entitlements, read our Enterprise Agreement.


To become a tactical response operator, you must have 2 years of experience as either:

Once you have the required amount of experience, you'll be able to apply for tactical response operator positions when they're advertised on our Jobs portal.

You'll have to pass additional checks and assessments as part of your application.

Health and fitness requirements

When you are eligible to apply to a Tactical Response team role, you'll need to demonstrate a higher level of fitness. You must pass the initial fitness component in order to progress to the next stage of selection.

This includes demonstrating that you can:

  • perform 3 cadence chin-ups while wearing a 17 kg vest
  • lift and carry an 80 kg dummy a minimum distance of 80 m, while wearing a 17 kg vest
  • run up 3 flights of stairs wearing full operational equipment
  • perform a 30 m leopard crawl wearing full operational equipment
  • tread water for 10 mins while wearing overalls and shoes, followed by a 400 m swim in 13 minutes
  • undertake a 10 km pack march carrying 25 kg plus water and rifle.

How to apply

Joining the AFP as a new recruit

To start your career as a police officer or protective service officer with the AFP, you must:

  • be aged 18 years or over
  • be an Australian citizen
  • hold a valid Australian driver's licence (P plates are accepted, if you have a learners licence don't apply until you have your provisional licence)
  • meet our character standards
  • hold at least one of the following qualifications:
    • Year 10 Certificate and 2 years of work experience
    • Year 10 Certificate and a nationally recognised vocational education qualification at Certificate III level or higher
    • Year 12 Certificate
    • vocational education (TAFE) qualification or university qualification at Diploma level or higher.

You must also provide evidence that you:

  • have had 2 primary doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine or one dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine at the time of application (evidence can be provided in the form of an immunisation history statement or COVID-19 Digital Certificate)
  • hold current first aid and CPR certifications
  • can swim 100 m freestyle.

Find out how to join us as a:

Joining the AFP from another Australian police force

If you have at least 3 years of operational policing experience, and have not been out of a policing role for more than 5 years, you may be eligible to join the AFP as a police officer through our Lateral Program.

You'll be expected to hold a Diploma of Public Safety (Policing) or equivalent and to have served in a state-based PTG.

You must also:

  • be an Australian citizen
  • be up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations
  • have and maintain a Negative Vetting 1 security clearance
  • hold current first aid and CPR certifications
  • show evidence that you can swim 100 m freestyle.

Watch our Tactical Response team in action

I applied for TR and went through a challenging and demanding process but I got the highest level training to qualify me as a Police Tactical Group operator, and I built great friendships along the way. Now I deploy anywhere across the country and overseas where I do operations that have a direct impact on crime. Best job in the AFP!

Tactical response operator

We’re recruiting. Are you up to it? 

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