The Australian Defence Force is further supporting the national response to COVID-19 by deploying additional personnel to assist State and territory health authorities.
CAPTION: Colonel Bradley Robertson and Warrant Officer Class Two Steven Cosstick discuss options for making a replacement part for a surgical-mask manufacturing machine with David Mather at Med-Con Pty Ltd, a small manufacturer in Regional Victoria. Photo by Corporal Sagi Biderman.
Reconnaissance and planning-support teams have been embedded in the Victorian, Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australian coordination centres, with additional teams ready to assist remaining States and territories.
Contact-tracing support teams are also being established in all States and territories, with a team of ADF personnel supporting NSW Health from yesterday.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the teams would contribute to the overall strength and resilience of the Australian health system in this challenging time.
“These ADF teams will provide logistics, transport, health and general planning assistance as the workload of civilian medical teams continues to increase as more Australians are diagnosed with or affected by COVID-19,” Minister Reynolds said.
“Defence continues to follow the advice of Australian health authorities when prioritising its support arrangements.
“We will continue to ensure Defence medical facilities are appropriately staffed to minimise any impact on our public health system.”
Defence has already provided a range of logistical and personnel support in response to COVID-19, including, but not limited to:
- supplying clinical and epidemiological support to the Department of Health National Incident Room since early February;
- supporting repatriations to Christmas Island and Howard Springs via RAAF bases Learmonth and Darwin;
- providing health, logistics and movements support to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Border Force repatriation and care of Australian Nationals;
- supporting Emergency Management Australia-led planning for the National Communicable Disease Incidence of National Significance Plan in response to COVID-19;
- supporting the Department of Health with logistics and specialist staff;
- providing a small team of highly qualified engineering maintenance specialists to a surgical face-mask factory until supplementary civilian workers can be recruited; and,
- the establishing a three-star-led taskforce to coordinate Defence’s contribution to whole-of-government efforts and manage our people.
More information about Defence’s support to the whole-of-government response to COVID-19 is available here.