The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is the national police agency of Australia. It has a similar role to the FBI in the USA. It was formed on 19 October 1979 from the merger of the former Commonwealth Police and the Australian Capital Territory Police. In January 2005 the AFP established the Operational Response Team (ORT), a team of specialist tactical police officers trained to assist regular AFP officers serving with the RAMSI peacekeeping force in the Solomon Islands. THe ORT was soon expanded to fulfil further operations, both within Australia and overseas, and was renamed the Operational Response Group (ORG) in 2006. To enable these long distance operations, an Aviation Support Group was created within the OSG, to provide leased aircraft and helicopters under contract. The AFP has no aircraft or helicopters of its own.
The AFP uses aircraft and helicopters as required, for training missions and operational Police work. Operations include tactical, VIP and surveillance tasks. The Aviation Support Group has qualified air crews that work with the contract pilots during police operations. Bell 212 and Bell 412 helicopters were contracted from Helicorp, (later brought out by Toll Remote Logistics), for support to the RAMSI operation, while crew and pre-deployment training was conducted with BK117s from United Aero.
On 1 July 2012 the OSG was merged with the AFP’s Canberra-based Specialist Response and Security team (SRS) to create the Specialist Response Group (SRG), with much the same duties but reduced duplication of resources. Somewhat controversialy, from 2013 a Gippsland GA8 Airvan fitted with specialist surveillance equipment was used over Australia. It even had a specific exemption allowing it to operate without navigation lights.
|19 October 1979||Australian Federal Police established.|
|January 2005||Operational Support Team established.|
|1 July 2012||Specialist Response Group established.|
The AFP uses leased aircraft and helicopters on short and long term contracts. It has no aircraft of its own.
No plans known.
The aircraft and helicopters of the AFP operate in the colours of the lease operator, no special markings are applied.
Aircraft Serial Numbers
AFP aircraft and helicopters carry standard Australian civil aircraft registrations.
Coding system not used.
None – Manufacturers designations used
Current Aircraft Inventory
|Aircraft Type||Total Del’d||Total Active||Still on Order||Role|
|Gippsland GA8 Airvan||1||1||0||Surveillance|
All-Time Aircraft Used List
|Aircraft Type||Quantity||Service Entry||Out of Service||Origin|
|Bell 412||3||2004||current||leased – Toll Remote Logistics|
|Gippsland GA8 Airvan||1||2013||2015||leased – Airvan Flight Services|
|MBB BK117B-2||2||?||?||leased – United Aero|
Aircraft NOT Used
No false reports known.
Aircraft Losses and Incidents
No losses known.
Australian Federal Police, Edmund Barton Building, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.
The Specialist Response Group of the AFP includes an Aviation Support Unit.
Current Unit Assignments
No subordinate units.
Historical Unit Assignments
All-Time Flying Units List
Current Air Bases
The Aviation Suport Unit is based in Canberra, ACT.
All-Time Air Bases Used List
Before the creation of the SRG in 2012, the Aviation Suport Unit of the ORG had bases in Canberra, ACT and Melbourne, VIC. There was also a forward AFP base in Brisbane, QLD. The latter two locations were closed in preparation for the establishment of the SRG.
To be added
wikipedia: Australian Federal Police
AFP admits high-tech support for search
CASA EX141/11 – Exemption
wikipedia: Operational Response Group
wikipedia: Specialist Response Group