Reuters photographer David Gray spent time on patrol
with Australia's North West Mobile Force, known as NORFORCE, a
surveillance unit that employs ancient Aboriginal skills to help in the
seemingly impossible task of patrolling the country's vast northwest
Border security has become a contentious issue ahead of an
Australian general election due this year. NORFORCE's area of operations
is about 1.8 million square km (700,000 square miles), almost as big as
Mexico. It covers the Northern Territory and the north of Western
Australia, home to some of the planet's most dangerous wildlife.
Aboriginal reservists make up a large proportion of the 600-strong
NORFORCE, and bring their knowledge of the land and the food it can
provide, handed down through the generations over 40,000 years or more.
Fish, shellfish, turtle eggs and even insects supplement rations during
the patrol, which is on the lookout for illegal foreign fishing vessels
and drug smugglers, as well as people smugglers from neighboring