Status of Forces


An Australian National Interest Analysis of a proposed Status of Forces Agreement described such an agreements as

“an internationally recognised means of providing for the presence of one country’s visiting forces in the territory of another country. A SOFA establishes conditions for the presence of visiting personnel and assets in the host country. It addresses issues such as jurisdiction, claims, immigration requirements and customs duties. Australia usually seeks to conclude a SOFA to cover any overseas operational deployment of ADF personnel or assets.”

SOFAs may be ongoing, or standing, or specific to particular operations. Jones provides the following lists of Standing and Operational SOFAs relating to recent ADF and AFP activities.

Commentary and analysis

Topic 4: Application of Law to Military Operations, 4.1: Legal Framework for Civil-Military Co-operation, Lieutenant Commander Rachel Jones, Military Law Centre, Military Operations Law, 29 October – 2 November 2007 [PowerPoint]

“Operational SOFAs

  • OPERATIONGEMSBOK – Provision of RAN steaming party for arrested UruguayanfishingvesselVIARSA:
    • Third Party Note for the provision by South Africa of assistance in the apprehension of the fishing vessel VIARSA and the return of the vessel to Australia
  • OPERATION ANODE – Program of Strengthened Assistance to address the threats to law and order and economic recovery in the Solomon Islands:
    • Facilitation of Assistance Act 2003 (Solomon Islands)
    • Agreement between Solomon Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga concerning the Operations and Status of the Police and Armed Forces and Other Personnel deployed to Solomon Islands to assist in the Restoration of Law and Order and Security
    • Third Party Notes with Fiji, Tonga and PNG concerning their contributions to the Participating Military Component
    • Implementing Arrangements for Provision of Logistic Support to Fiji, Tonga, PNG, NZ [and AFP]
    • ADF and AFP Cooperative MOU
    • ADF and Frontline Arrangement
  • OPERATIONBASTILLE/FALCONER/ CATALYST – The lead up to and conduct of the war against Iraq and the consequential occupation of Iraq.
    • Basing Arrangement with […] for ADF force elements concerning Status of Forces
    • Status of Forces arrangement with Kuwait
    • Implementing Arrangement for Mutual Logistics Support with UK
    • Implementing Arrangement for Provision of Mutual Logistics Support between CENTCOM (US) and HQAST
    • Arrangement between US, UK and Australia concerning PWs
    • Multinational Division (South East) (MND(SE)) MOU with UK and ten other countries
    • MOU with Japan
  • OPERATION SLIPPER – The conduct of the war against Terrorism
    • Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, done at Bishkek on 14 February 2002 (the Agreement), and Entered into Force on 9 July 2002
    • Basing Arrangement with […] for P-3s concerning status of forces
    • Implementing Arrangement with Canada for Logistics Support of P-3s
    • Exchange of Notes with UK for the transit and basing of Australian Personnel in Diego Garcia in support of the United States led military operation against international terrorism
    • Implementing Arrangement for Mutual Logistics Support with the Republic of Korea
  • OPERATIONSUMATRA ASSIST (Phase One) – Provision of Disaster relief toIndonesiainAceh
    • Third Party Note by Indonesia to Australia
    • Third Party Note providing Australia’s understandings of the terms of Indonesian TPN
  • OPERATIONSUMATRA ASSIST (Phase Two) – Provision of Disaster relief to Indonesia in Nias
    • Exchange of TPN applying terms of TPNs for Phase One to this Phase”

See also

Project coordinator: Richard Tanter
Updated: 9 November 2014