Home' Army News : February 16th 2012 Contents TRUE BLUE DIGGER TOURS
on the Western Front in France
Did you know that during WWI
more Australian soldiers died in
2 days of battles on the Western
Front than died in the whole of
the Gallipoli campaign?
Did you know that the town
of Villers-Bretonneu x, in
the Somme Valley, has
commemorated ANZAC Day
Did you know that a Dawn
Service is now held on ANZAC
Day at the Australian National Memorial near Villers-Bretonneu x?
Did you know that many towns and villages in the Somme Valley in France and
Flanders in Belgium fly the Australian flag daily as a mark of respect?
We say here in the picturesque province of Picardie
“N’oublions jamais l’Australie” – “Do not forget Australia”
Come to visit us and experience the gratitude and respect which we have for
Australia dating back nearly 100 years!
A certified English speaking guide is available for tours of the Somme Valley and
Flanders WWI battlefields.
Your guide is an expert on Australia’s involvement in the WWI Western Front
or visit our website: www.trueblue-diggertours.com
Tours of 1⁄2, 1 or more days
can be arranged to suit
your requirements. We are
waiting to welcome you!
Contact Barbara Legrand
Army February 16, 2012
Cpl Melanie Schinkel
AS FLOODWATERS recede the
soldiers and sailors of the ADF
Emergency Support Force are tire-
lessly removing debris, clearing filth
from roads and providing manpower
to assist the communities of Roma,
Mitchell and St George.
Led by the Enoggera-based 7
Bde, the ADF Emergency Support
Force (ESF) comprises 90 soldiers
from D Coy, 6RAR, and 2CER, and
30 Fleet Support Unit sailors from
The OC of the ESF, Maj Paul
Mackenzie, said the force had spent
several days assisting in Roma and
Mitchell before shifting the main
clean-up effort to St George on
“At this stage, I expect operations
in Roma and Mitchell will conclude
within the next 24-48 hours but we’ll
be working in St George for at least
the next three days. A contingent of
the ESF is on its way from Roma to
help in St George as we speak,” Maj
“The flood damage in St George
isn’t as bad as that in Mitchell or
Roma. Although about 50 houses
went underwater in St George and
we need to help the locals remove
the levee they built to protect the
town – there is still a lot of work to
He said the morale of the soldiers
and sailors was high and that their
motivation increased even further
Enoggera troops join response
on mercy missions
Ready for takeoff: Black Hawk crewman Cpl Thomas Marchant prepares a Queensland family to be airlifted from a proper ty surrounded by rising floodwaters.
Photo by LAC Benjamin Evans
TO THE RESCUE
The crew of Black Hawk 207 rescued
seven people from a flooded property
south of Charleville on February 5.
Aircrewman WO2 Steve Carter said
they tracked to the rough grid reference
they were given and after a few minutes
found a group of farm buildings surround-
ed by a sea of fast moving water.
“After a few passes over the top we
confirmed it was the right homestead. The
only landing area was over near the stock-
yards about 500m away but it was covered
with water – only the tops of the long
grass poked through,” WO2 Carter said.
The pilots located a safe landing zone
and WO2 Carter and aircrewman Cpl
Thomas Marchant escorted the people,
who were taking refuge in an old tinny, to
“We loaded them on the aircraft and
dropped them off at the Charleville Airport.
Obviously, they were relieved and very
happy to be safe,” WO2 Carter said.
“It’s a good feeling when you get to
put all your training into practice. Those
people needed our help and we were in a
position to get to them quickly.”
Coordinated response: Disaster district coordinator Inspector Roger
Whyte (left) and Queensland Police Sgt Russell McKee discuss the
flood damage recovery plan for the town of Mitchell with Capt Charles
Mansfield, 2CER, and emergency support force OIC Maj Paul
Photo by LAC Benjamin Evans
after lending their helping hands to
two schools in Mitchell.
“Mitchell State School reopened
today [February 10] thanks to the
ESF. During the floods the school
was used as an emergency evacuation
centre. The force helped reorganise
it and set up classrooms for the stu-
dents. The ESF also assisted a nearby
Catholic school, which was another
great confidence booster.
“All ESF personnel are fully com-
mitted to the job and want to get in
and help out anyone anywhere.
“They are proud to provide
assistance and grateful for the over-
whelming recognition they’re receiv-
ing from the Roma, Mitchell and St
Commander 7 Bde Brig Gregory
Bilton said the ESF would strive to
help the hardest hit communities as
quickly and effectively as possible.
“The ESF will complement the
state emergency services, local
authorities and residents in their
tireless effort to repair the damage,
minimise the hardship caused by
the floods and help restore liveable
conditions to all those affected,” Brig
At time of print a contingent of
the ESF was on its way from Roma
to St George to continue flood relief
Elements of the force remained in
Mitchell and Roma to assist.
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