Deployment to Tonga meaningful

This year began in a meaningful way for Australian Army cargo operator Corporal Daniel Norrie when he deployed on Operation Tonga Assist 2022.

CAPTION: Army soldier Corporal Daniel Norrie on Pangaimotu Island, Tonga, as part of HMAS Adelaide’s amphibious beach team. Story by Captain Zoe Griffyn. Photo by Petty Officer Jake Badior.

Based at 10th Force Support Battalion in Townsville, Corporal Norrie deployed as part of HMAS Adelaide‘s amphibious beach team, which does site surveys of islands to ensure follow-on forces are able to conduct operations on shore.

“Our main capability is to safely push logistics from ship to shore,” Corporal Norrie said.

“We enable the task force to project personnel, equipment and stores onto the islands.”

Corporal Norrie is used to short-notice deployments and has deployed on several humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations, including Vanuatu Assist 2017, Bushfire Assist 2019-20 and now Tonga Assist.

Adelaide deployed to Tonga in a timeframe similar to when Corporal Norrie assisted in Mallacoota, Victoria, in HMAS Choules during Bushfire Assist.

“HMAS Choules deployed within 16 hours of receiving the phone call,” Corporal Norrie said.

“We spent three busy days working with the tides to get several thousand people and their dogs from the beach to the ship so we could transport them to Melbourne.

“It was a tough few days, but I’m proud of what we achieved.”

CAPTION: HMAS Adelaide’s deployable geospatial support team and the amphibious beach team conducted terrestrial reconnaissance on the Pangaimotu Island and its approaches to ensure one of the ship’s landing craft could safely beach itself. Photo by Petty Officer Jake Badior. 

Corporal Norrie and his wife are from Kendall on the NSW mid-north coast and are both serving.

“I joined the Army in 2012 as petroleum operator due to the career opportunities it offered,” Corporal Norrie said.

“My wife and I moved to Townsville four years later, then she decided to join Army as well.”

Corporal Norrie’s wife is the quartermaster at 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), and both are happy about their career choice.

“The Army is great because it offers stability and mateship,” said Corporal Norrie.

“There are new challenges to look forward to and constant opportunities.”

The Australian Defence Force is deployed on Operation Tonga Assist 2022 as part of the Australian Government’s support to the Tongan Government following the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano.





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