Structure of the Australian Army

Structure of the Australian Army

The Australian Army, as with many other armies of nations that were formerly part of the British Empire, is structured in a similar way to the British Army, with divisions and brigades as the main formations, subdivided into regiments and battalions. As with most military forces in the modern age, the main tactical formation is the battlegroup, formed around the HQ of either an infantry battalion or armoured regiment. The Australian Army is currently capable of fielding up to nine battlegroups (one armoured, two cavalry, five infantry and one aviation), though it would not be feasible to deploy all nine battlegroups simultaneously. The 'hardened and networked' Army initiative will add two further battlegroups. [Australian Army [ The Hardened and Networked Army] . Accessed 4 May 2007.]

Land Command

Land Command is the authority responsible for the operations of Australian land forces, and has its headquarters in Sydney. In addition to its two divisions, there are a two brigade sized formations and some individual units under the direct command of LHQ.


Below LHQ, there are two main formations within the Australian Army [] :

*1st Division - this is the main deployable formation, and contains the bulk of Australian regular forces. The divisional headquarters, located in Brisbane, has a secondary role as the "Deployable Joint Force Headquarters" (DJFHQ): during an operational deployment, DJFHQ is a joint formation, commanding units of the RAN and RAAF as well as the army. The 1st Division contains a total of three brigades. :*1 Brigade based in Darwin:*3 Brigade based in Townsville:*7 Brigade based in Brisbane

*2nd Division - this is the main home defence formation, consisting mainly of reserve forces, with its HQ located in Sydney. It is divided into 6 brigades.:*4 Brigade based in Victoria:*5 Brigade based in New South Wales:*8 Brigade based in New South Wales:*9 Brigade based in South Australia and Tasmania:*11 Brigade based in Queensland:*13 Brigade based in Western Australia


In addition, there are two brigade sized formations that are under the direct control of HQ Land Command -
*16 Brigade - this is responsible for the majority of the Australian Army Aviation Corps assets.
*17 Brigade - this is an integrated formation of logistic support units from various corps.

pecial Operations Command

Special Operations Command is a command formation of equal status to the other commands in the ADF, but is drawn exclusively from the Army. It is a brigade sized formation responsible for all of Australia's special forces assets.

SOCOMD consists of:
* Headquarters Special Operations Command
* Special Air Service Regiment
* 4th Battalion (Commando), Royal Australian Regiment
* 1st Commando Regiment
* Incident Response Regiment
* 171 Squadron, Australian Army Aviation Corps (under command of 16 Brigade (Aviation) but to be collocated with and almost all flying time dedicated to SOCOMD)
* Special Operations Combat Service Support Company

Units of the Regular Army

Combat Arms


Within the Royal Australian Armoured Corps are a total of four regular regiments, one of which is formed of a single squadron.
*Armoured Regiment - M1A1 Abrams AIM tanks
**1st Armoured Regiment - 1 Brigade
*Armoured Reconnaissance Regiments - Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV)
**2nd Cavalry Regiment - 1 Brigade
**2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) - 7 Brigade
*Armoured Personnel Carrier - Bushmaster IMV
**3rd/4th Cavalry Regiment (B Squadron only) - 3 Brigade


Regular Infantry

The regular infantry was formed in 1948 from elements of the 2nd Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF) and is composed primarily of battalions of a single large regiment, the Royal Australian Regiment. This consists of seven regular battalions and one Special Operations :
*1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Light Infantry) - 3 Brigade
*2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Light Infantry) - 3 Brigade
*3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Parachute Infantry) - 3 Brigade
*4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Commando) - Special Operations Command
*5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Mechanised Infantry) - 1 Brigade
*6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Motorised Infantry, Bushmaster IMV) - 7 Brigade
*7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Mechanised Infantry) - 1 Brigade
*8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Motorised Infantry, Bushmaster IMV) - 7 Brigade The Royal Australian Regiment will be able to provide a total of seven battlegroups for deployment.

pecial Forces

There is also the special forces element of the infantry. Special Operations has its own command structure, under which comes Australia's special forces units:
*Special Air Service Regiment - Special Operations Command


The Royal Australian Artillery has four active regiments, with another forming, within the regular army:
*1 Field Regiment - Close Support (L119 Light Gun) - 7 Brigade
*4 Field Regiment - Close Support (L119 Light Gun) - 3 Brigade
*8/12 Medium Regiment - Close Support (M198 Howitzer) - 1 Brigade
*16 Air Defence Regiment - Air Defence (Rapier & RBS-70) - Land Command
*20 Surveillance and Target Acquisition Regiment - Land Command (forming)


Australian Army Aviation consists of 16 Brigade (Aviation) which contains two regiments and one squadron:
*1 Aviation Regiment - Battlefield Support and Reconnaissance
*5 Aviation Regiment - Tactical Assault and Air Mobility
*173rd Surveillance Squadron - Light Aircraft

5 Aviation Regiment was formed from 9 Squadron and 12 Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force when the role of battlefield helicopters was transferred to the Army from the Air Force.

Combat Support Arms


The Corps of Royal Australian Engineers has a total of five regular regiments, plus a number of independent squadrons. Of these, three are ordinary combat engineer regiments (the equivalent of Field Regiments in the Royal Engineers), each of which is attached to a brigade. The fourth provides support for Land Headquarters (LHQ) and the fifth is the specialist engineering support unit to the Special Operations Command.
*1 Combat Engineer Regiment - 1 Brigade
*2 Combat Engineer Regiment - 7 Brigade
*3 Combat Engineer Regiment - 3 Brigade
*6 Engineer Support Regiment - Land Command
** 1 Topographical Survey Squadron Enoggera, Qld
** 17 Construction Squadron Holsworthy, NSW
** 21 Construction Squadron Enoggera, Qld
** Explosive Hazards Centre Enoggera, Qld
*Incident Response Regiment - Special Operations Command

There is a further regular unit, which consists of the army's consultative engineers, who are responsible for the planning and drafting of the engineering projects undertaken by the CERs.
*19 Chief Engineer Works

The Reserve units of the Royal Australian Engineers mirrors the structure of the regular units. Each CER is attached to a Reserve brigade. The Reserve units also provide support to the regular units as required.


Within the Royal Australian Corps of Signals, there are two regiments and a number of individual squadrons, which provide communications for formations at brigade level and above:
**1 Signal Regiment (DJHQ/1 Division) (Contains 101 Signal Squadron)-(formerly 1 Joint Support unit. Changed for 2007)
**7 Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare)
**103 Signal Squadron (3 Command Support Regiment) - 3 Brigade
**104 Signal Squadron (1 Command Support Regiment) - 1 Brigade
**110 Signal Squadron - LHQ
**126 Signal Squadron - 4th (Commando) Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
**130 Signal Squadron - Logistic Support Force
**139 Signal Squadron (7 Command Support Regiment) - 7 Brigade
**145 Signal Squadron - (17 Command Support Regiment) - 17 Brigade
**152 Signal Squadron - Special Air Service Regiment

Brigade signals squadrons are amalgamated with military police and HQ units into Combat Support Regiments, assigned to specific brigades.

Combat Service Support Arms

These units provide the vital support to the combat arms ensuring they have all the support necessary for them to execute their mission. No one unit in any Army is able to conduct its mission without support from a wide range of Combat Support and Combat Service Support units.

Health Support

*1 Health Support Battalion - 17 Brigade
*2 Health Support Battalion - 17 Brigade
*3 Health Support Battalion - 17 Brigade
*1 Psychology Unit - 17 Brigade

Health elements are also contained within each of the Combat Service Support Battalions.


*1 Combat Services Support Battalion - 1 Brigade
*3 Combat Services Support Battalion - 3 Brigade
*7 Combat Services Support Battalion - 7 Brigade
*9 Force Support Battalion - 17 Brigade
*10 Force Support Battalion - 17 Brigade
*39 Personnel Support Battalion - 17 Brigade


*1 Military Police Battalion - Land Command
*1 Intelligence Battalion - Land Command


The Federation Guard is a tri-service unit that provides ceremonial guards and gun salutes.

In addition, ceremonial music support for the Army and public is provided from the Australian Army Band Corps (AABC). These bands are located in capital cities, such as Australian Army Band Sydney. Cemeronial duties for the Australian Parliament/Government and the Governor-General in Canberra are provided by the Royal Military College Band, Duntroon [] . AABC bands are also attached to serving combat units, such as the Band of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, or the Regimental Band of the 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers. They primarily undertake ceremonial and entertainment duties, with some minor regimental support functions.

Units of the Army Reserve

Combat Arms

Infantry (Reserve)

The Army Reserve infantry regiments of the Australian Army have a proud heritage dating back over almost one hundred and fifty years, including service in the Boer War, WWI and WWII.

pecial Forces

*1st Commando Regiment - mixed Regular/Reserve unit

Regular Infantry

*Royal New South Wales Regiment
**1st/19th Battalion - 5 Brigade
**2nd/17th Battalion - 8 Brigade
**4th/3rd Battalion - 5 Brigade
**41st Battalion - 8 Brigade
*Royal Queensland Regiment
**9th Battalion - 11 Brigade
**25th/49th Battalion - 11 Brigade
**31st Battalion - 11 Brigade
**42nd Battalion - 11 Brigade
*Royal South Australia Regiment
**10th/27th Battalion - 9 Brigade
*Royal Tasmania Regiment
**12th/40th Battalion - 9 Brigade
*Royal Victoria Regiment
**5th/6th Battalion - 4 Brigade
**8th/7th Battalion - 4 Brigade
*Royal Western Australia Regiment
**11th/28th Battalion - 13 Brigade
**16th Battalion - 13 Brigade

Regional Force Surveillance

In addition to the regular and reserve infantry, within the Australian Army are three battalion sized Regional Force Surveillance Units. These are dedicated reconnaissance units based in the north and west of Australia:
*North-West Mobile Force (NORFORCE) - Land Command
*The Pilbara Regiment - Land Command
*Far North Queensland Regiment - Land Command

Armour (Reserve)

With the exception of the 10th Light Horse, all other Reserve regiments consist of the Regimental HQ Troop, two Sabre squadrons, A and B, and a Combat Support Squadron.

*1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers - 5 Brigade
*3rd/9th South Australia Mounted Rifles - 9 Brigade
*4th/19th Prince of Wales's Light Horse - 4 Brigade
*10th Light Horse (A Squadron only) - 13 Brigade
*12th/16th Hunter River Lancers - 8 Brigade

Combat Support Arms

Artillery (Reserve)

*2nd/10th Field Regiment (M198 Howitzer, L119 Light Gun M2A2 Field Gun) - 4 Brigade
*7th Field Regiment (L119 Light Gun) - 8 Brigade
*7th Field Battery, 3rd Field Regiment (M2A2 Field Gun) - 13 Brigade
*16th Field Battery - (M2A2 Field Gun) - 9 Brigade
*23rd Field Regiment (L119 Light Gun) - 5 Brigade
*48th Field Battery (M2A2 Field Gun) - 9 Brigade

Engineers (Reserve)

*4th Combat Engineer Regiment (Ringwood East, Victoria) - 4 Brigade
*5th Combat Engineer Regiment (Sydney) - 5 Brigade
*8th Combat Engineer Regiment (Newcastle, NSW) - 8 Brigade
*9th Combat Engineer Regiment (Adelaide) - 9 Brigade
*11th Combat Engineer Regiment (Townsville) - 11 Brigade
*13th Combat Engineer Regiment (Perth) - 13 Brigade
*21 Construction Regiment - Land Command
*22 Construction Regiment - Land Command

ignals (Reserve)

**8 Signal Regiment - 2nd Division
**108 Signal Squadron (4 Command Support Regiment) - 4 Brigade
**109 Signal Squadron (13 Command Support Regiment) - 13 Brigade
**141 Signal Squadron (11 Command Support Regiment) - 11 Brigade
**142 Signal Squadron (5 Command Support Regiment) - 5 Brigade
**144 Signal Squadron (9 Command Support Regiment) - 9 Brigade
**155 Signal Squadron (8 Command Support Regiment) - 8 Brigade
**301 Signal Squadron - 1st Commando Regiment

Combat Service Support Arms (Reserve)

*4th Combat Service Support Battalion - 4 Brigade
*5th Combat Service Support Battalion - 5 Brigade
*8th Combat Service Support Battalion - 8 Brigade
*9th Combat Service Support Battalion - 9 Brigade
*11th Combat Service Support Battalion - 11 Brigade
*13th Combat Service Support Battalion - 13 Brigade

University Regiments

Main source of Reserve General Officer Trainees and attached to major Universities in each State. (Brigade assignations under review.)
*Sydney University Regiment (SUR)
*University of New South Wales Regiment (UNSWR)
*Melbourne University Regiment (MUR)
*Monash University Regiment (Mon UR)
*Adelaide University Regiment (AUR)
*Queensland University Regiment (QUR)
*Western Australia University regiment (WAUR)


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