The Australian Army continues to roll out more and more personnel – reserves and regulars – and equipment in support of Operations Bushfire Assist 19-20.
CAPTION: Reservists from the 10th/27th Battalion, Royal South Australia Regiment, load vehicles onto the Kangaroo Island ferry at Cape Jervis, South Australia, during Op Bushfire Assist. Photo by Corporal Tristan Kennedy.
RELATED STORIES: Operation Bushfire Assist 19-20
A force made up of engineers, logistics capabilities and personnel from Army’s 9th Brigade have deployed to help with recovery and clean-up on Kangaroo Island.
7th Brigade deployed approximately 400 members this morning to support the Joint Task Forces and State Emergency Services in NSW and Victoria.
20th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery has deployed a Wasp small unmanned aerial system to conduct reconnaissance operations in Victoria.
Army is providing advice and scoping support for ACT emergency services in relation to a fire front south-west of Canberra.
Army helicopters – CH-47F Chinooks, MRH-90s and Black Hawks – continue to distribute emergency food, water, fuel and medical supplies to fire-affected communities.
A fourth Army CH-47F from Townsville will be arrive at HMAS East Sale and ready for tasking this evening.
Two Singaporean CH-47F Chinooks will join the effort tomorrow, with three New Zealand NH90s available, probably tomorrow.
A significant number of regular-Army personnel have been recalled from leave – as many as 400 from overseas – to fulfil all currently promised commitments. Many of those recalled from leave recently returned from operations in Iraq or Afghanistan.
As of this afternoon, just over 1000 of the 3000 Army Reservists ‘Called Out’ are now in the field, with the remaining preparing to deploy.
Yesterday, about 35 engineers and communications specialists from 1st Brigade departed Darwin along with a team of 1st Close Health Battalion health professionals. They’ll support local emergency services and volunteer agencies where they’re needed most.
Members of 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment already on the ground have been preparing Bushmasters loaned from the Army School of Transport at Puckapunyal to head out into fire-affected communities.