Seven Army Reserve signallers from 109th Signal Squadron have deployed to Kalgoorlie by train to set-up long-range communication links along the main road route from WA to the eastern States for WA’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) fighting the bushfire burning near Norseman.
CAPTION: Signallers from 109th Signal Squadron ready to board the ‘Prospector’ for Kalgoorlie. 13th Brigade photo.
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The small town south of Kalgoorlie is situated at the start of the Eyre Highway linking WA to eastern Australia.
The Signallers brings a specialised high-frequency radio and tactical satellite communications capability – voice and data – that will provide senior DFES commanders with real-time communications support to their teams on the ground hundreds of kilometres away.
The contingent will provide three signals detachments along the Eyre Highway.
They travelled to Kalgoorlie on the ‘Prospector’ – a fast train capable of reaching 160km per hour.
Officer Commanding 109th Signal Squadron Captain Sam Lee said the train was the most effective means of deploying the three detachments the 600 kilometres to Kalgoorlie with all their communications equipment, stores and field gear.
“This gets us there as fast and as safely as possible, to give our support to the fire and emergency services when we hit the ground in Kalgoorlie,” Captain Lee said.
This is considered to be the first time WA troops have deployed to an operational task by train since World War Two.