Nearly 7000 military personnel are now supporting the front lines of bushfire fighting efforts across Australia, mainly in the south-eastern states.
CAPTION: NSW Rural Fire Service Deputy Captain Bobby Boate briefs members of the Australian Army Reserve before their next support task in Jerangle, NSW. Photo by Lance Corporal Brodie Cross. Story by Brian Hartigan.
RELATED STORIES: Operation Bushfire Assist 19-20
The bushfire crisis continues to be the Australian Defence Force’s main effort – with more than a little help from some foreign friends.
More than 3500 full-time and 3000 reserve ADF personnel are providing direct support in the field, at sea, in the air and from Defence bases across fire-affected regions, with another 300+ personnel and some serious equipment from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Japan and Fiji.
The New Zealand Defence Force sent 90 of its members and three NH90 helicopters, which are working across the south east, based out of HMAS Albatross and, sometimes, RAAF Base East Sale.
Around 80 military engineers plus a command and liaison element, totalling 100 personnel from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force arrived in Australia on Monday and are now at work in Victoria.
Almost 50 Republic of Singapore Air Force members and two CH-47 Chinnok helicopters are current operating out of RAAF Base East Sale.
70 Japan Self Defense Force members with two C-130 Hercules aircraft arrived at RAAF Base Richmond yesterday.
The Republic of Fiji’ provided a platoon of around 50 engineers, who are now working alongside ADF personnel in East Gippsland.
Japan Self Defense Force Hercules welcomed to RAAF Base Richmond