Unit of competency details

DEFCA429 - Undertake defensive actions (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 24/Jan/2013

Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to DEFCA402B - Undertake defensive operationsCompletely revised. Changes throughout the unit to meet current language. Outcomes unchanged. 23/Jan/2013
Is superseded by and equivalent to DEFMIL132 - Undertake defensive actionsUnit code updated. Content and formatting updated to comply with the new standards. All PC transitioned from passive to active voice. Assessment Requirements created drawing upon specified assessment information from superseded unit. 21/Oct/2015

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 099905 Security Services  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 099905 Security Services  06/May/2013 
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Modification History


TP Version 



DEF12 V2

First release. Replaces is and equivalent to DEFCA402B. Undertake defensive actions. Completely revised. Changes throughout the unit to meet current language. Outcomes unchanged.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers the competency required to operate as a team  member during the conduct of defensive actions in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

For the purpose of this unit of competency, a team is defined as a group of up to approximately 30 personnel (for infantry this would be a section or platoon).

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication. In a Defence context, this means that there is no civilian need to hold this unit in order to meet licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements.

Application of the Unit

This competency was developed for combat arms personnel required to deploy in an operational environment, but is applicable to any individual in this field of work.

Typically operators work independently and as part of a team under direct and/or indirect supervision, use discretion and judgement, and take responsibility for the quality of their outputs.

All activities are carried out in accordance with relevant organisational policies and procedures.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content



Elements describe the essential outcomes of a Unit of Competency.

Performance Criteria describe the required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised  text is used, further information is detailed in the Range Statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the Evidence Guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria

1. Prepare for defensive actions 

1.1 Defensive action orders  are received and clarified where required.

1.2 Battle procedure  is conducted.

1.3 Appropriate personal and task specific equipment is selected and fitted as directed and/or required by the operational environment.

2. Conduct defensive actions 

2.1 Defensive position is occupied as ordered.

2.2 Defences  are constructed as ordered in accordance with standard procedures .

2.3 Defensive routine  is conducted as ordered in accordance with standard procedures.

2.4 Drills and routines  are conducted in accordance with operational requirements and standard procedures.

2.5 Withdrawal from the defensive position is conducted as ordered.

3. Finalise defensive action activities 

3.1 Post operation activities  are conducted in accordance with operational requirements and standard procedures.

3.2 Post action administration  is conducted in accordance with operational requirements and standard procedures.

Required Skills and Knowledge

Required Skills 

  • apply battlecraft aggressively
  • apply navigation techniques
  • apply operational safety
  • apply recognised safety precautions
  • assimilate orders
  • handle weapons safely in an operational environment
  • interpret fire control orders
  • work in a team

Required Knowledge 

  • battlecraft
  • characteristics, technical capabilities, effects, employment and limitations of equipment
  • cultural awareness
  • fire control orders
  • navigation techniques
  • WHS requirements
  • orders for open fire
  • recognised safety precautions
  • team work

Evidence Guide

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Assessment must confirm the ability to work as part of a team by day and night in a simulated operational environment that replicates the extremes and stress of a threat environment.

Assessment must also confirm the ability to construct the following defences:

  • shell scrapes
  • weapon pits
  • obstacles
  • fire lanes
  • weapon stakes

Assessment must also confirm the ability to adhere to all defensive routines as detailed in the Range Statement.

Consistency in performance 

Competency should be demonstrated over time and in a range of contexts that could be expected in the workplace.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Context of assessment 

Competency should be assessed in a simulated operational threat environment. The person should be exposed to the extremes of the operational environment under physical and mental stress. The context of assessment would usually be simulated due to the nature of this high-risk environment.

Specific resources for assessment 

Access to a team; a simulated operational environment that replicates the extremes and stress of a threat environment; a rifle and ammunition; and a variety of equipment as listed in the Range Statement.

Range Statement

The Range Statement relates to the Unit of Competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised  wording in the Performance Criteria is detailed below.

Defensive actions  may include:

  • area defence
  • delaying defence
  • mobile defence
  • withdrawal

Battle procedures  may include:

  • cleaning weapons
  • conducting rehearsals
  • receiving confirmatory orders
  • removing non-essential items
  • test firing weapons
  • testing or checking equipment, which may include:
  • ammunition
  • load carrying equipment
  • personal protective equipment
  • day and night vision equipment
  • infra-red lights
  • rations
  • task specific equipment
  • specialist equipment early warning devices
  • communication equipment

Defences  may include:

  • bunkers
  • early warning
  • fire lanes
  • hardening of facilities
  • illumination plan
  • obstacles
  • reinforcement of buildings
  • shell scrapes
  • weapon pits
  • weapon stakes

Standard procedures  may include:

  • Australian Standards
  • defence instructions
  • doctrinal pamphlets
  • job guides, other publications
  • manufacturers handbooks, industry specifications and technical instructions
  • work health and safety (WHS) regulations
  • organisational policies and procedures
  • procedure manuals
  • reengagement procedures
  • relevant local government by-laws
  • relevant state/territory or federal legislation
  • routine orders
  • standing operating procedures
  • standing orders
  • written and verbal orders

Defensive routine  must include:

  • applying weapon readiness states
  • camouflage maintenance
  • clearing patrols
  • maintaining communications between individual/groups
  • maintaining hygiene plan
  • maintaining obstacles
  • monitoring surveillance devices
  • observing arcs
  • range cards
  • rehearsals
  • searching ground
  • stand to/down
  • standing patrols
  • track discipline
  • using the ground

Drills and routines  may include:

  • counter attack procedure
  • counter penetration drill
  • marry-up procedures
  • relief in place
  • withdrawal

Post operation activities  may include:

  • confirming weapon state
  • hand-over evacuees
  • hand-over non combatants
  • hand-over prisoners of war
  • participating in debriefs
  • preparing for subsequent operations
  • psychological debrief

Post action administration  may include:

  • assisting with resupply and redistribution
  • completing all documentation
  • equipment cleaning
  • maintenance of personal hygiene
  • returning specialist equipment
  • weapon cleaning

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

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