Chopper crews proud to lend a hand in Western Australia

Three MRH-90 Taipan, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters, their aircrews and a team of support personnel from the 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville are deploying to Western Australia in support of Operation Flood Assist 23-1.

CAPTION: Members from Australian Army 5th Aviation Regiment prepare to depart RAAF Base Townsville to support flood recovery efforts in Western Australia. Story by Captain Carolyn Barnett. Photo by Linda Bone.

The ADF helicopters can take over three days to travel from Townsville across the Top End to reach Broome.

On arrival, the helicopters will integrate with the Western Australia emergency services already in the region to support ongoing rescue and relief efforts in the Kimberley region.

Major Jeremy Costello, commander of Task Unit Destrier, said integration with emergency services on the ground was essential to provide assistance to communities.

   

“This enables us to get out to the right places with the helicopters,” Major Costello said.

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CAPTION: An Australian Army MRH-90 helicopter from 5th Aviation Regiment departs from RAAF Base Townsville, in Queensland to support flood recovery efforts in Western Australia. Photo by Linda Bone.

“We are really proud to have this opportunity again to help the community.”

Major Costello said the team have experience in providing disaster relief.

“Some of the soldiers have previously deployed on other disaster relief operations in New South Wales,” he said.

“Every time we deploy, we learn lessons.

“This makes us safer and better equipped to help people in need.”

Defence commenced Operation Flood Assist 23-1 on January 6 to provide assistance to the WA Government in the Kimberley region where heavy rainfall from ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie has isolated communities.

At the request of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Defence is providing from the 5th Aviation Regiment to support the flood response, along with three Royal Australian Air Force aircraft.

Defence continues to work closely with NEMA in monitoring disasters affecting the community.

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CAPTION: Australian Army CH-47 helicopter from 5th Aviation Regiment prepares to take off at RAAF Base Townsville, in Queensland to support flood recovery efforts in Western Australia. Photo by Linda Bone.


 
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