Australia has significant and enduring scientific, environmental and economic interests in Antarctica and its offshore waters. Operation Southern Discovery is an ongoing peacetime operation in support of these national interests, with a focus on supporting civilian agencies and the Australian Antarctic Division in particular.
In this CoveTalk Wing Commander Ben Cullen, Commander Australian Contingent, discusses various aspects of the operation including areas of responsibility, working with international partners (military and civilian), dealing with extreme weather conditions, and the challenges of transportation by air, sea and land.
For some additional reading on Antarctica and the ADF have a look at:
- the Australian Antarctic Division website https://www.antarctica.gov.au/
- the Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan which defines Australia's national Antarctic interests (strategic, scientific, environmental and political)
- this paper by Air Commodore Margot Forster, CSM Australia’s National Interests in the Antarctic Region: What is important? published in March 2016
- this paper by Midshipman Izaak Gurney, RAN, Cold fleet: The Southern Ocean, Antarctica and the ADF published in November 2016
- this article by RAAF Officer Jenna Higgins, The Delineation of Militarisation in Antarctica published on The Strategy Bridge on 31 January 2017