The Royal Australian Navy’s largest ship, Landing Helicopter Dock HMAS Adelaide, joined HMAS Choules and MV Sycamore in support of Operation Bushfire Assist earlier this week.
CAPTION: HMAS Adelaide as seen through the bridge window of MV Sycamore in Twofold Bay, New South Wales. Photo by Commander Brinckmann. Story by Lieutenant Anthony Martin
RELATED STORIES: Operation Bushfire Assist 19-20
The ship is currently positioned in Twofold Bay near Eden and its personnel have been conducting liaison meetings with local authorities, police and fire crews.
Medical staff have provided some initial first-aid support to local communities and the ship has been preparing for all contingencies.
The light vehicle deck on Adelaide has been transformed into an emergency accommodation area for any potential evacuees.
Staff have prepared bedding, refreshments and care facilities to cater for potential arrivals.
Even small things like phone-charger points and pet support have been considered and made ready.
For Assistant Maritime Logistics Officer Sub Lieutenant Cameron Blanch the preparations have been well planned and executed.
“Everyone has pitched in and helped out, this has been a whole ship evolution,” Sub Lieutenant Blanch said.
“We all know how important this task is and want to do our best to help the community in any way.”
Elsewhere on the ship, teams prepare for assistance activities ranging from medical care, food packages and communications to engineering support.
Adelaide’s Executive Officer Commander Jace Hutchison has been delighted by the enthusiasm and dedication demonstrated by the crew, some of whom reside in bushfire-hit communities.
“I am extremely proud of the way the ship’s company have responded in such a short timeframe,” Commander Hutchison said.
“We are providing assurance to the Australian community that we have got their back and we are ready to stand by them during this difficult time.”
Adelaide, in conjunction with other Defence assets, will continue to provide support in the region as requested by the relevant authorities.