Search and rescue

The Australian Government has an international obligation to provide search and rescue (SAR) for its territories, territorial seas, and the surrounding high seas. This is an area of 52.8 million square kilometres, covering over one tenth of the earth's surface.

SAR in Australia is conducted jointly between Australian Maritime Safety Authority, State and Territory emergency authorities and volunteer organisations. The Air Force can assist when specialist skills or equipment are needed.

AP-3C Orion aircraft have surveillance equipment capable of locating stricken vessels and downed aircraft. Both AP-3C Orion and C-130J Hercules can drop survival equipment and position marking devices to enable search and recovery efforts.