Major General Craig Furini AM, CSC, will take over as the new Commander of Operation Sovereign Borders this week.
He succeeds Air Vice-Marshal Stephen Osborne AM, CSC, who led the border security operation for almost two years.
Major General Furini brings to the role more than 28 years of experience at the tactical, operational and strategic levels across a range of military disciplines. He most recently served as Director General Plans at the Defence Force’s Headquarters Joint Operations Command.
The Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton today congratulated Major General Furini on his appointment and thanked Air Vice-Marshal Osborne for his service.
“Major General Furini’s extensive operational and planning experience in the Defence Force makes him ideally qualified to oversee Australia’s border protection operations as its fourth Commander,” Mr Dutton said.
“Building on the success of his predecessors, he will continue to lead the detection, interception and return of anyone who attempts an illegal boat voyage to Australia, and cooperate with international law enforcement partners to disrupt people smuggling activities in our region.
“I sincerely thank Air Vice-Marshal Osborne for his outstanding leadership of Operation Sovereign Borders. Air Vice-Marshal Osborne’s tireless efforts have ensured Australia’s borders remain closed to illegal maritime migration, and importantly, that no more people have died attempting unsafe boat journeys to Australia.
“The Coalition Government’s determination to protect our borders, combat people smuggling and prevent deaths at sea, is stronger than ever.
“Operation Sovereign Borders works because it is strong and consistent. Any weakening in any part of the policy would restart the boats.”
Since the establishment of Operation Sovereign Borders, this Government has not only returned 34 illegal boat arrivals, returned over 800 illegal maritime arrivals to their country of departure or origin, but we have worked with our regional partners to disrupt 79 people smuggling ventures, affecting over 2,500 illegal maritime arrivals, with 616 people arrested by regional law enforcement authorities.