National Anti Terrorism Exercises (NATEXs) also known as National Counter Terrorism Exercises (NCTE) are an exercise program involving the Australian Federal Government and all States and Territories.[1] Australia’s national anti-terrorist arrangements are well practised with two major NATEXs held annually.[2] The Attorney Generals Department manages the Counter-Terrorism Branch (CTB) which supports the National Counter-Terrorism Committee (NCTC) who run the exercise program.[3]

The program includes discussion exercises, tactical response exercises, investigation and consequence management exercises and multi-jurisdictional exercises.[4] Such incidents practised include recapturing buildings, freeing hostages, cordoning off areas or responding to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive attack.

NATEX exercises of various types are run and tested several times per year testing various elements of the Australian Defence Force such as the Tactical Assault Group (West & East), Special Operations Command (Australia) and Incident Response Regiment. Exercises involve various elements of State/Territory Police Forces such as their respective Police Tactical Group and various intelligence agencies and units such as ASIO.[5] As well as involving various elements of the Federal Government exercises also test the capability, co-ordination and response of the State/Territory Government, State Emergency Services, the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, the Australian Defence Force, the Australian Federal Police and other Commonwealth agencies.

Exercises are tailored to prepare for specific events such as the 2000 Sydney Olympic games, 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and the 2007 Sydney APEC forum.[6]

Types of exercises[edit | edit source]

The National Counter Terrorism Co-ordination Centre maintains what is known as the 'National Exercise Program'. This program involves a range of tactical, operational and strategic level exercises, which are conducted on a rotational basis throughout all Australian States and Territories.[7][8]

There are four main counter terrorism exercises conducted under the NCTC National Exercise Program:[9]

  • MJEX (Multi-Jurisdictional Exercise)
  • ICMEX (Investigation and Consequence Management Exercise)
  • TACREX (Tactical Response Exercise)
  • DISCEX (Discussion Exercise)

Counter terrorism exercises[edit | edit source]

  • 2010 - 'Mercury 10' - Multi-jurisdictional counter-terrorism exercise held across ACT, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.[11][12]
  • 2009/2010 - 'Prometheus', 'Proteus', 'Baccus' - Queensland Police exercise focus sing on a variety of State specific events/locations.[14]
  • 2007 - 'Southern Contact' - Multi-agency counter-terrorism exercise held in Tasmania testing operational response of various agencies to incidents.[17][18]
  • 2006 - 'Western Explorer' - Counter-terrorism response capability exercise held in Western Australia.[20]
  • 2004 - 'Mercury 04' - The inaugural multi-jurisdictional exercise involving Tasmania, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Victoria.[24][25][26]

Relevant units[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. http://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/agd/www/nationalsecurity.nsf/AllDocs/9EDD156E9DA7C75FCA25716F000C9401?OpenDocument
  2. http://www.ausport.gov.au/fulltext/2001/pmc/sydney_2000_games.asp
  3. http://www.ema.gov.au/www/agd/agd.nsf/Page/Organisational_StructureNational_Security_and_Criminal_JusticeProtective_Security_Coordination_CentreCounter-Terrorism_Coordination
  4. http://www.ag.gov.au/www/agd/agd.nsf/Page/Nationalsecurity_Counter-terrorism_Counter-terrorismcoordination
  5. http://www.defence.gov.au/terrorism/
  6. http://www.theage.com.au/news/war-on-terror/mercury-rises-in-games-mock-terror-threat/2005/10/21/1129775962085.html
  7. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/anti-terrorism-exercise-to-test-melbournes-underground-rail-network/story-e6frf7jo-1225847711433
  8. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/22/2066435.htm?site=news
  9. http://www.pfes.nt.gov.au/index.cfm?fuseaction=page&p=150&m=25&sm=80&ssm=26&sm=79
  10. http://www.secure.nsw.gov.au/Media-centre/Media-releases/NSW-Police-Force/National-Counter-Terrorism-Exercise-Black-Angus.aspx
  11. http://www.police.tas.gov.au/news/posts/view/942/Mercury+10+multi+jurisdictional+exercise/
  12. http://www.securityaccess.com.au/45AB5BA2-DCBA-11DF-8BA8005056B05D57
  13. http://www.public.health.wa.gov.au/3/1340/2/exercises.pm
  14. http://www.police.qld.gov.au/services/reportsPublications/annualReport/20092010/performance/puborder/counterterrorism.htm
  15. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/counterterror-police-alert-but-not-alarmed-20091021-h89g.html
  16. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/queensland/playing-dead-serious/2008/10/14/1223749980908.html
  17. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/22/2066435.htm?site=news
  18. http://www.police.tas.gov.au/uploads/file/Corporate%20Documents/Annual%20Report/DPEM%20Annual%20Report%202007-08.pdf
  19. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/cops-storm-sydney-airport/story-e6freuzi-1111112246803
  20. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2006/06/13/1661495.htm
  21. http://www.theage.com.au/news/war-on-terror/mercury-rises-in-games-mock-terror-threat/2005/10/21/1129775962085.html
  22. http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/black-hawks-buzz-the-bay/2005/10/10/1128796441417.html
  23. http://www.defence.gov.au/media/download/2005/oct/20051020.cfm
  24. www.defence.gov.au/budget/03-04/dar/02_04_outcome1_6.htm
  25. http://www.defence.gov.au/news/armynews/editions/1094/topstories/story04.htm
  26. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/03/22/1079939584278.html
  27. http://www.defence.gov.au/news/armynews/editions/1084/topstories/story03.htm
  28. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2003/09/28/955109.htm
  29. http://www.chogm2002.org/pub/releases/counter_terror.html

External links[edit | edit source]

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