Australian Defence Force

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The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is the military organisation responsible for the defence of Australia. It consists of the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Air Force and a number of 'tri-service' units.

During the first decades of the 20th century, the Australian Government established three separate armed services. 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 57,697 full-time active-duty personnel, 21,248 active reserves and 22,166 standby reserves make it the largest military in Oceania, it is still smaller than most Asian militaries. Nonetheless, the ADF is able to deploy forces in multiple locations outside Australia.


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