During a visit to the Shoalhaven and South Coast regions of NSW, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia recognised the support provided by ADF personnel to emergency services in response to Australia’s bushfire crisis.
For those at HMAS Albatross it might have been hard to miss the irony of fires threatening the base that has helped to fight bushfires for decades, as flames were seen at the western edge of the airfield near Nowra on the NSW south coast.
Australian Army soldiers have continued to support bushfire affected communities across the Adelaide Hills, bolstered by the arrival of specialist Royal Australian Navy and New Zealand Defence Force personnel.
The civilian crew of the Navy-contracted MV Sycamore have relished an expanded role during Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 19-20 - the ship has modified her operations, away from her usual role, to support the ADF’s bushfire response.
When Royal Australian Navy Seaman Marine Technician Zachariah Remnant answered the call to join HMAS Choules to support Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 19-20, he came with insights into what was involved in helping in an emergency.
When a significant military force needs to work collaboratively with a civilian population, as is happening across multiple states as part of Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 19-20, a Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) link between the two is essential.
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.