Royal Australian Air Force personnel who have been helping with flood recovery efforts in the Kimberley region of Western Australia have been praised for their positivity and professionalism in challenging conditions.
CAPTION: Members of the Royal Australian Air Force’s 77 Squadron work to remove flood damaged items from affected properties in Fitzroy Crossing. Story by Flight Lieutenant Grace Casey-Maughan. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Kate Czerny.
In the early hours of Monday 23 January, 25 personnel from 77 Squadron deployed from RAAF Base Williamtown in NSW, to Broome on Operation Flood Assist 23-1.
They travelled on to Fitzroy Crossing, where they conducted a hand-over with the outgoing Army contingent and commenced support to the local community.
Sergeant Cohen Thamm said contributing to the community effort in Fitzroy Crossing had been extremely rewarding.
“The reactive nature of the environment has been a challenge, especially with the uncertainty of water levels and access routes to affected communities,” Sergeant Thamm said.
“The tasks our teams have been completing are extremely rewarding.
“The hard work makes it all worth it when the teachers from the schools, the padre or the managers of the community centres say thank you for what would have taken them months or years, being completed in one or two days.
“Civilians from the local area, have been extremely helpful in supporting our tasks.
“An example of this was our engagement with the local IGA grocer where the section commander was able to source a forklift and flatbed truck to resupply essential items from a CH-47F Chinook.
“The team then cordoned off the main road in Fitzroy Crossing and facilitated unloading of stores with the borrowed forklift.”
Regimental Sergeant Major of Army’s 10th Light Horse Warrant Officer Class One Christopher Sharp has been based in Broome with Joint Task Group 629.6 and praised 77 Squadron personnel for their can-do attitude and professionalism.
“The sections that have been out in Fitzroy Crossing have had their challenges with living conditions, weather and cultural complexities,” WO1 Sharp said.
“They have conquered these without issue and it was no surprise that when the first section rotated back into Broome, they had to be ‘dragged’ back as they didn’t want to leave Fitzroy Crossing.
“The professionalism from the team has been exceptional.
“The Emergency Support Force Headquarters in Fitzroy Crossing and the headquarters here in Broome have praised the team from 77 Squadron.
“In particular their preparation and delivery of orders before each task.”
The above report originally contained zero references to “Royal Australian” or RAAF – an ‘error’ corrected by CONTACT. See here why we think this matters.