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After a hard day's work
REST, RELAX, RESTORE
Windsor Home Zone
142 Newmarket Road
th September 2010
Army Safety Day
Army Safety Day
Army September 16, 2010
flood in to
Team effort: Soldiers from 53 Bty
sandbag the Telstra exchange in
Photo courtesy of Shepparton News
Distribution line: Gnr Thomas
Butler helps distribute the
By Peter Johnson
JUST 18 months after providing vital
support to emergency services during
the Victorian bushfires, soldiers have
helped battle the floods in northern
Army committed 55 personnel from
53 Bty School of Arty, and 10 vehicles
including six Unimogs, following a
request from the SES on September 5.
The troops were sent to Shepparton
to assist with preparing and delivering
sandbags, door knocking, and using their
vehicles for evacuations if required.
CO School of Arty Lt-Col Brandon
Wood said the soldiers had to move
quickly when the call went out for help.
"It was 16 hours between the first
phone call warning order on Sunday and
having guys on the ground at 0800hrs on
Monday," he said.
"It was a pretty good turnaround for
the School of Arty, and the community
has been appreciative."
He said the initial direction was for
48 hours but the anticipated delay in
floodwaters reaching Shepparton meant
the commitment was extended by 24
hours until floodwaters peaked.
"This was to enable tasking of the
SES and other emergency services after
assessing the extent of flood damage,"
Lt-Col Wood said.
School of Arty handed over to 4 Bde
ready reserve force (RRF) on September
9 in what brigade major 4 Bde Maj
Philip Whitehead described as "a seam-
The 4 Bde commitment is a com-
mand-and-control element involving 54
members, mostly from the RRF, who will
support the SES. Many of the soldiers
were involved with Op Vic Fires Assist
last year and helping with this task was
"very much within their capability on
their own doorstep," Maj Whitehead said.
"As reservists a number of them also
work in the emergency services field so
they bring these skills with them."
Commander of 53 Bty troops at
Shepparton Maj David Jones said tasks
included sandbagging around telecom-
munications sub stations and service
stations, shoring up a Goulburn River
levee bank, confirming locations of resi-
dents should evacuation be required and
providing vehicles to help people cross
53 Bty maintained an ongoing 'be
-prepared task' to evacuate Shepparton
residents as floodwaters rose on the night
of September 7.
But the success of the SES-led infor-
mation campaign and the sandbagging
preparations meant the potential evacua-
tion was avoided.
Two soldiers assisting at Shepparton,
Bdr Paul Gardner from Morwell,
Victoria, and Gnr Steven Field from
Eden, NSW, felt an affinity with those
affected by the floods.
"I come from a similar area, we have
had a lot of floods like this," Bdr Gardner
said."It's good to come and support
the local community, they need a hand.
Everyone was happy to see us."
"We had a few floods when I was
younger, I know what people are like in
those situations," Gnr Field said.
"It has been good, it was something
different, and it was good to see what the
SES and other people do."
A SERVICE honouring Australia's
involvement in peacekeeping mis-
sions is scheduled to be held at the
Australian Peacekeeping Memorial
site at Anzac Parade in Canberra on
September 14 at 11am.
Chair of the Australian
Peacekeeping Memorial Committee
Maj-Gen Tim Ford (retd) said all
Defence personnel, their friends
and families were invited to attend
what will be the 63rd anniversary of
Australia's peacekeeping efforts.
The memorial recognises the cour-
age and professionalism of peacekeep-
ers and also focuses on recognising the
significant contribution by Australians
to international peacekeeping.
Call 0406 168 655 for further details.
Service for peacekeepers
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