Forces unite to make park safe
Navy, Army and Air Force personnel converged on flood-ravaged recreation areas in Kedron Brook in Mitchelton, Brisbane, to ensure they’re safe for the public.
CAPTION: Navy, Army and Air Force personnel clear flood debris from Kedron Brook in Mitchelton, Brisbane, as part of Operation Flood Assist 2022. Story by Flying Officer Rob Hodgson. Photo by Corporal Nicole Dorrett.
The triservice clean-up team not only came from different services, but different states.
Navy personnel from the Northern Territory and Air Force aviators from South Australia pitched in to assist an Army contingent from Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane with the clean-up.
The assigned area they were tasked to had not seen flooding of this level in living memory.
The popular recreation and exercise area, and adjacent community football club and fields, copped the full force of debris, making them unsafe and unusable.
Despite the Australian Defence Force clean-up team coming from different services and different states, they all combined well to quickly tackle the task at hand.
Navy sailor Leading Seaman Joshua Billingham, who deployed to Brisbane for Operation Flood Assist from HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin, was thrilled to help the community.
“Obviously there’s some good-natured rivalry and banter between Army, Navy and Air Force, but we’re all here to work together, to help the community and get the job done,” Leading Seaman Billingham said.
“It feels great to come together like this and lend a hand.”
Participating in joint operations such as Operation Flood Assist gives ADF personnel from the different services the chance to help the Australian community and also enhances the skills and interoperability between the different services.
Examples of interoperability such as this during times of crisis and disaster relief are common from the ADF, where a one-in-all-in approach is required for maximum effect.
It also occasionally offers the opportunity for serving personnel to give back to a community that has special significance to them.
Air Force aviator Aircraftwoman Janita Billingham, based at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia, was born and raised in Brisbane, so the opportunity to come back and help her home town recover resonated deeply with her.
“I’m a Brisbane girl, born and bred, and I’ve been seeing all my friends and family going through this, so to be able to come home and lend a hand has been fantastic,” she said.
The group at Kedron Brook was further enhanced when a group of United States Navy personnel from USS Frank Cable volunteered to join the clean-up operation.
The US Navy personnel were quickly incorporated into the ADF clean-up team, working side-by-side to help get the area safe for the local community.