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Vic troops respond
DOZENS of ADF members
swung into action across south-
ern NSW and northern Victoria
to assist with recent flood relief
Tasks included sandbagging,
door-knocking, evacuations and
the provision of Unimog and
Mack vehicles for accessing flood
Capt Aaron Cimbaljevic, of
the School of Armour, said 36
members of the support squad-
ron, including cavalry, tank, trans-
port and mechanical specialists
deployed to Numurkah on March
"We supported VicPol, SES
and CFA in carrying out flood
prevention tasks, sandbagging,
and hardening previously estab-
lished flood prevention meas-
ures," he said.
"We also carried out evacua-
tions of sick, elderly and disabled
people from Numurkah Hospital.
"At Nathalia we sandbagged
700 metres along an artificial
levee made from aluminium
sheeting, and outside the levee
we sandbagged the local abattoirs
and football ground.
"We provided a critical capa-
bility with two Mogs, a Mack and
a Merlo -- we used the Merlo to
move pallets of sandbags."
Capt Cimbaljevic said the
local communities were apprecia-
tive of the Army's efforts.
"We didn't have to crack
School of Armour supports relief efforts
Flood relief on track: Troops from the School of Armour prepare to head home after deploying
for sandbagging and other flood-prevention tasks in Victoria.
IT IS midnight on March 7 at the ADF Emergency
Operations Centre that has been established at RAAF
Earlier in the day, the desks and whiteboards had been
manned by a busy team of Air Force personnel, but as the
clock ticks towards a new day, fresh faces wearing Army
rank slides on their cams start to arrive for the graveyard
Earlier in the day, aircrew from a visiting Navy
Squirrel aircraft had temporarily occupied the facility
after taking the commandant of Kapooka on a flight to
survey the devastation from the air. Air Force had pro-
vided the photographic support for that mission.
A few hours later, Navy, Army and Air Force were
handing out dinner boxes to each other, and to the civil-
ian staff who had come to support the effort.
This cooperative scene has not just occurred by acci-
dent. It was part of a strategy to achieve the dual goals of
fighting the floods and continuing the important training
courses at both Kapooka and RAAF Base Wagga.
The principle was fairly straightforward. Emergency
operations planning and coordination happened out of the
dedicated Air Force facility. Staffing was rotated between
Army and Air Force.
Meanwhile, Kapooka was ready to stand up an emer-
gency evacuation centre for 300 people at short notice.
Out in the field, all three services were doorknocking
homes to advise residents when it was time to evacuate.
At other times they could be found working side-by-side
to fill more than 65,000 sandbags.
The Commandant of ARTC Kapooka, Col David Hay,
said the concept had helped all ADF elements involved in
"This rotation planning has shared the workload and
enabled both bases to continue with their important train-
ing schedules," Col Hay said.
"Of course this situation has had some impact on the
ADF, just like the rest of the community, but by work-
ing together the three services have managed to achieve
much more than we could have otherwise."
open a ration pack as the locals
and SES provided all the 'fuel'
the platoon needed to put in the
hard yards sandbagging," he
"The Numurkah RSL Sub-
Branch provided accommodation
for us after we had to evacuate
from the Moira Shire Council
LCpl Daniel Wilce, a crew
commander with Cavalry Tp,
and a former reservist from
Shepparton's 8/7RVR, said he
was happy to be back in his
home area helping out.
"Our work was very much
appreciated and the SES, with
their local knowledge, made the
best use of our time," he said.
"We never went hungry
because old ladies were bringing
us salad rolls and home-made
biscuits all the time."
LCpl Wilce said they filled
around 10,000 sandbags while
they were there.
"Nathalia just didn't have
enough manpower until we got
there," he said.
Mr Neville Garland, CFA
Sector Commander at Nathalia,
said it was great having the
Army back to help.
"I have fond memo-
ries of Vietnam veterans from
Puckapunyal coming up to save
our town in the 1974 floods."
The School of Armour con-
tingent handed over flood relief
operations to 4 Bde on March 6.
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