Their mission is to "stop the boats", but the Australian Border Force (ABF) is experiencing problems dispatching some of its own smaller watercraft.
The ABC has learned Australia's new $330 million Cape Class Patrol Boats, which monitor the country's expansive coastline for illegal activity, are struggling to launch smaller response craft known as tenders.
Tender Response Vessels are lowered into the water from the Austal-made patrol boats using a
specialised piece of equipment called a davit, which is similar to a small crane.
ABF staff have told the ABC the launch difficulties are due to a design fault and have hampered the law enforcement agency's "operational capacity".
"The Australian Border Force is working closely and cooperatively with Austal to resolve an issue relating to operation of ships' boats on some Cape Class Patrol Boats," the Immigration Department said in a statement.
"A solution has been identified and any required works will be undertaken during scheduled maintenance windows in a way which ensures our strong maritime presence is maintained."
'It will have an impact on operational decision making'
John Coyne, the head of the border security program at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said any problems launching smaller response craft would affect border protection operations.
"It will have an impact on operational decision making because the bottom line here is that there is an increase in the allowed time to get those ships on the water," Dr Coyne said.
"As a result of that, that's going to impact on your decision making, that's gonna impact on the captains of those ships' decision making and how they go about their business."
In a statement, Austal said it was working with another company which "provided the equipment in question" to "fully meet the requirements of ABF".
"Austal regularly conducts various sustainment activities to ensure the maximum availability of the vessels for ABF to meet their capability needs," the company said.
Austal, along with its German partner Fassmer, is one of three companies shortlisted to build Australia's $3 billion Offshore Patrol Vessels, and has been lobbying furiously to be allowed to build the Navy's $35 billion Future Frigate warships.