The operation is part of a wider Defence effort led by the COVID-19 Taskforce, which ensures that Defence is well prepared to continue to defend Australia and its national interests.

Since March 2020, Operation COVID-19 Assist has been contributing to the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic with customised support for state and territory authorities. Assistance from the ADF is coordinated through the emergency management whole-of-government response to COVID-19.

Operation COVID-19 Assist has responded to a range of contingencies and supported various initiatives, including:

  • Mandatory state and territory hotel quarantine program assistance for returning Australians and other international travellers.
  • Emergency response planning assistance via reconnaissance support teams.
  • Police border controls logistics support.
  • Frontline COVID-19 swab testing support at testing facilities
  • Contact tracing teams helping trace and understand the spread of the virus in the community.
  • Logistical support for civilian authorities.