As part of the Victorian Government’s request for assistance, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) deployed four Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles (PMVs) on Operation Flood Assist 2022-2.
CAPTION: Local State Emergency Service and Country Fire Authority conduct route reconnaissance of flood affect areas in Echuca, in an Army Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle. Story by Captain Joanne Leca. Photo by Corporal Cameron Pegg.
The versatile vehicles were used to conduct reconnaissance missions and to support evacuations and movements.
With a high clearance enabling the vehicles to traverse flood-affected roads up to 1.2 metres deep, they supported communities heavily affected, such as Shepparton, Echuca, Kerang and Swan Hill.
Bushmaster PMV driver Corporal Kaelym O’Flaherty, of the 1st Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, said it had been a rewarding experience to see the impact he and his team made in the community.
“We’ve seen some hardship suffered within the local communities and it’s great to see my team and vehicles making a real difference,” Corporal O’Flaherty said.
“The best thing about the Bushmaster PMVs on flood operations is the high clearance, allowing them to get to locations that the State Emergency Services and civilian vehicles can’t.
“During this operation a reconnaissance task can quickly turn into an evacuation of community members, and a PMV can quickly adjust from one to the other.”