Operation COVID-19 Assist grows

The ADF is contributing to the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic with a range of logistical and personnel support.

CAPTION: Australian Army soldier Lance Bombardier Jacob Homulos, Northern Territory Police Officer Senior Constable Maxwell Lisson and Department of Health Environmental Officer Jerry Chen conduct quarantine compliance checks in Darwin. Photo by Captain Carla Armenti.

Defence has prepared responses to a range of contingencies through the Emergency Management Australia-led response.

As of 9am AEST 9 April 2020, approximately 1600 personnel are deployed as part of Operation COVID-19 Assist

 

State-by-state breakdown

Defence’s explanation as to why the below figure don’t add up: Personnel in Joint Task Group headquarters, supporting roles, and those preparing for tasks are included in overall state-based figures but are not captured in the list of tasks.

CONTACT observation 1: If you add the totals below, it comes to 1406. Defence makes no explanation re the discrepancy between this and the total listed at 1600 above. Where are the extra 215 working? Surely it can’t be that hard to give figures that actually add up?

CONTACT observation 2: In Defence’s dot-point lists, there are sub-dots to explain that in the Northern Territory “ADF personnel are not involved in the enforcement of border controls” – with no such caveat listed for Western Australia. Does that mean they are involved in that state?

CONTACT observation 3: The statement “ADF personnel are not involved in the enforcement of border controls” is actually incorrect, insofar as if they are lending support, they are involved. A more correct statement would be “The ADF is not authorised as law-enforcement officers as this remains the responsibility of the states and territories”, which is stated elsewhere (in the wrong tense) on a different topic.

 

New South Wales – 558 personnel

  • 324 ADF personnel are supporting state police quarantine and self-isolation directions at Sydney Airport, ports, local hotels and residences.
  • 23 personnel are involved in planning support and contact-tracing teams.
  • 211 in Joint Task Group headquarters, supporting roles, and those preparing for tasks

Queensland – 221 personnel

  • 27 ADF personnel are supporting state police with the reception of international arrivals at Cairns and Brisbane airports.
  • 35 personnel are supporting state police self-isolation compliance checks.
  • 14 personnel are involved in planning support and contact-tracing teams.
  • 54 personnel are providing support to Queensland Police to protect Indigenous communities

CONTACT maths = 91 in Joint Task Group headquarters, supporting roles, and those preparing for tasks

Victoria – 105 personnel

  • 16 personnel are assisting with surgical mask production.
  • 17 personnel are involved in contact tracing, planning support and isolation checking.

CONTACT maths = 72 in Joint Task Group headquarters, supporting roles, and those preparing for tasks

Western Australia – 204 personnel

  • 114 personnel are supporting Western Australia Police Force border controls.
  • 20 personnel are supporting state police self-isolation compliance checks.
  • 14 personnel are supporting contact tracing and planning efforts.
  • 56 in Joint Task Group headquarters, supporting roles, and those preparing for tasks

South Australia – 47 personnel

  • 12 personnel are involved in planning support.

CONTACT maths = 35 in Joint Task Group headquarters, supporting roles, and those preparing for tasks

Tasmania – 77 personnel

  • 32 personnel are supporting state police quarantine compliance checks.
  • 30 personnel are involved planning support and contact tracing teams.

CONTACT maths = 15 in Joint Task Group headquarters, supporting roles, and those preparing for tasks

Northern Territory – 140 personnel

  • 76 personnel are providing logistics, communications and medic support to the NT Police at three Northern Territory border control locations on the Stuart, Barkly and Victoria Highways.
    • The logistics are focused on catering and other sustainment operations for the NT Police in the remote locations.
    • The communications support will assist police data and voice transmission in the remote locations with limited reception.
    • The medic support will assist police in the health screening of civilians who are trafficking through the areas.
    • ADF personnel are not involved in the enforcement of border controls.
  • 7 personnel are involved in planning support and contact-tracing teams.
  • 14 personnel are supporting territory police self-isolation compliance checks.

CONTACT maths = 43 in Joint Task Group headquarters, supporting roles, and those preparing for tasks

Australian Capital Territory – 33 personnel

  • 11 personnel are involved in planning support and contact tracing teams.

CONTACT maths = 22 in Joint Task Group headquarters, supporting roles, and those preparing for tasks

National

  • 21 personnel are embedded in various Australian government agencies, including the Department of Health, the Department of Home Affairs and the National Indigenous Australians Agency.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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