Keeping watch on environmental health
United States Army Staff Sergeant Amelia Ramirez is getting to see Australia’s unique environment up close on Exercise Talisman Sabre (TS21).
CAPTION: United States Army technical engineer Staff Sergeant Amelia Ramirez in the Townsville Field Training Area. Story by Flight Lieutenant Chloe Stevenson. Photo : Leading Aircraftwoman Emma Schwenke.
Staff Sergeant Ramirez is providing vital environmental health support and has been working in the Townsville Field Training Area with the Australian Army and civilian environmental health team deployed on the exercise.
She’s undertaken rigorous training to equip herself with the skills to design safe, healthy camps that minimise the impact on the local environment and community.
“That involves making sure you are designing your camp properly, making sure ammunition and food is away from the ground, planning the distance between food and tents, distance between food and latrines,” Staff Sergeant Ramirez said.
“The role is very big here on this exercise and in Australia, especially establishing the relationships within the local communities on non-Defence training areas.
“Within the United States Army, I am a technical engineer, which consists of site survey design and soil testing.
“Myself and the other engineer I am with are attached to the environmental management group here on Talisman Sabre.
“For us, it’s about reading the environment and understanding the scheme of manoeuvre.
“Talisman Sabre involves land, air and amphibious activities, so there’s lot for us to cover and consider in terms of environmental health and avoiding any damage to the land or ocean.
“I think that this training exercise is really good, especially as it’s Australia-hosted.
“I just finished an exercise in Hawaii with some Australians working with us, so it’s nice seeing both sides, and we’ve been able to link in with the team here really well.”
Staff Sergeant Ramirez said she has loved her role on Talisman Sabre as it has allowed her to explore the unique Australian environment.
“You have a different environmental language, different insects, different weeds and different animals,” Staff Sergeant Ramirez said.
“So far I’ve been lucky.
“I’ve seen dingoes, emus, kangaroos and wallabies.
“I just really want to see a koala now.”