Following her recent South Pacific deployment, Choules berthed in Brisbane to offload more than 690 cubic metres of Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) equipment, including excavator trucks, shipping containers, an LCM8 Landing Craft, LARCs and Army personnel.
The equipment and crew passed the standard biosecurity inspection and the HADR equipment was secured at AAT Wharf until Adelaide arrived to take it on board.
HMAS Moreton - the Royal Australian Navy’s Brisbane base - in close cooperation with Joint Movement Control Centre, the local port authorities and maritime industry, facilitated the transfer.
The LCM8 crew were accommodated at the new accommodation facilities at Moreton, with the LCM8 secured alongside Moreton’s floating pontoon.
The LCM8 crew took advantage of Moreton’s prime location and easy water access to conduct training within the confines of the Brisbane River, in order to enhance their expertise in one of the most transited waterways in Australia.
Adelaide arrived two weeks later to embark personnel, the HADR equipment and additional ‘gifted’ stores from the Australian Government to use during its Enhanced Regional Engagement deployment.
Prior to transiting out to meet Adelaide, the LCM8 was loaded with some of the stores by Moreton’s ship’s company and the LCM8 crew, using the newly fitted 3.5t davit.
More than 1600 cubic meters of equipment was eventually loaded on board, facilitated by Moreton and associated agencies.
Having previously served in Choules, Moreton’s Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics Supply Chain Hayden Eyles said he was happy to be able to support the important task.
“I was proud to see both the shore and sea elements of the evolution come together so efficiently.
“It really makes you appreciate the strategic importance of Brisbane when dealing with humanitarian and disaster relief stores and when embarking and disembarking the Army and RAAF elements of our defence force,” Leading Seaman Eyles said.
DFAT is responsible for leading Australian Government agencies in response to any international humanitarian crises and the inter-agency relationships were on display during this HADR stores evolution.
By developing the Australian Defence Force’s core capabilities, the Government has at its disposal the assets and the experience required to deploy relief supplies, personnel and resources, at a moment’s notice.
The Australian Defence Force’s last three HADR missions were mounted from the Port of Brisbane.
In his post-visit report summary, the Commanding Officer of Choules, Commander Scott Houlihan praised the support of HMAS Moreton.
“Choules conducted a successful Port visit to Brisbane that enabled the offload of HADR equipment. Support from Moreton was superb,” he wrote.
Moreton prides itself on providing a high level of operational support to visiting ships.