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Army February 17, 2011
THE task force leading the
ADF rescue and relief effort
in response to the devastating
Queensland floods ended opera-
tions on February 4.
The mission has now transi-
tioned to one of recovery, but the
ADF continues to provide special-
ist support to flood areas.
JTF 637 was established
on January 1 at the request of
Emergency Management Australia
and provided essential support
Chief of Joint Operations
Lt-Gen Mark Evans said about
1900 personnel completed tasks
ranging from general clean-up
operations, search and rescue
tasks and liaison duties during the
He said while the focus on ini-
tial flood rescue and relief assis-
tance had been completed, the
public would still see service per-
sonnel providing recovery assis-
tance in southern Queensland.
"ADF engineering and aerial
survey elements will remain in
support of emergency manage-
ment authorities to assist those
communities where recov-
ery efforts are beyond the cur-
rent capacity of local councils,"
Lt-Gen Evans said.
"Like the rest of the state
agencies, the tasks performed by
our ADF personnel over the past
month have been many and var-
ied."Aviation units flew about 470
hours and evacuated more than
300 residents, while fixed-wing
and rotary aircraft moved 1.5 mil-
lion kilograms of cargo, enabling
vital food and personnel transfers.
Sea-going units surveyed
the channels and anchorages
of Moreton Bay as well as the
Brisbane River, helping vital com-
mercial shipping to re-enter the
Lt-Gen Evans said Defence
personnel worked tirelessly in
difficult conditions all across the
state conducting general clean-up
duties in hundreds of streets, busi-
nesses and houses.
"A team of Army engineers
using their equipment and special-
ist skills provided important assis-
tance with creek re-direction and
removing heavy debris," he said.
The engineer element remain-
ing is commanded by 6ESR and
includes more than 400 ADF
personnel from Queensland and
The aerial survey element
remaining on station is a B-350
King Air and associated crew.
These tasks are expected to end
By LCpl Mark Doran
OFFICERS from HQ 9 Bde deployed
to Victoria after the recent floods to
gain awareness in preparation for flow-
on flooding in South Australia.
While only low-level flow-on flood-
ing was expected in South Australia, the
SA-based 9 Bde officers visited to gain
some insight into what the operation
OC 9 Bde RRF Maj Hamish
McKendrick conducted the visit with
Maj Robin Marlin, 9 Bde Plans Officer
for Defence Assistance to the Civilian
"We wanted to share knowledge,
gain situational awareness and see how
the floodwaters in Victoria would affect
South Australia," Maj McKendrick said.
"The 156 soldiers in the 9 Bde RRF
are on seven days' notice to move but
can be reacted in 24 hours."
Maj Marlin said he was mainly inter-
ested in observing coordination between
Defence and state government assets.
"South Australia was well prepared as
they had a similar structure as Victoria.
There were plans in place for the
response," Maj Marlin said.
"We managed the information with
regard to the water flow and were able
to predict what the levels would be and
what response should happen."
According to the South Australian
State Emergency Service, there was
expected to be low-level flooding and
only minor damage in the flood plains.
Victoria's floods are expected to
pump 900 gigalitres of water into South
Australia by the end of February.
SA officers learn from
Flood relief: A 5 Avn Regt Black Hawk flies over Rockhampton as floodwaters peak. Spr Matthew Vayro (inset) helps
Karalee residents remove debris from the streets into an Army front-end loader during the clean-up effort.
Photos by Capt Bryce England and PO Damian Pawlenko
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