The ongoing bushfire recovery effort in Australia’s south east has seen one young Navy sailor at sea serving on the same operation as her Army Sergeant father ashore.
The crew, task group staff and embarked forces in HMAS Adelaide are on station off the New South Wales south coast, providing relief and support to regional communities impacted by the bushfires.
South Australian local, Navy Reserve Medical Officer Lieutenant Andrew Southcott, didn’t hesitate to answer the call to provide medical support to the people of Kangaroo Island when the call went out.
For some members of HMAS Adelaide’s ship’s company, being part of the ADF’s bushfire relief operation has been more meaningful because of their personal connections with the communities affected by the fires.
Taking a ship at ‘72 hours notice for sea’ and preparing her to sail in less than 48 hours is no small feat - even more so when you’re talking about the biggest ship in the Navy’s Fleet.
Staff from the Amphibious Task Group embarked in HMAS Adelaide have been forging close ties and collaborative relationships with regional authorities supporting efforts ashore during Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 19-20.
For many of the Australian Defence Force personnel involved in Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 2019-20 there is an added personal connection to the ongoing emergency through family and friends directly impacted by the fires.
For Leading Seaman Tina Dummett, the Australian bushfire crisis has hit close to home. The Combat Systems Operator, currently deployed on Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 19-20, grew up right in the middle of one of the worst-affected bushfire areas.
HMAS Albatross and its resident squadrons have made a significant contribution to the aerial component of the NSW Rural Fire Service’s bushfire operations, but the efforts of the base’s contracted firefighters have been equally important in keeping the Naval Air Station at Albatross in the fight.
On 12 January, Fire and Rescue New South Wales and members of the ADF successfully retrieved a helicopter that was forced to ditch into the Ben Boyd Reservoir, near the township of Eden, on 9 January.