Home' Army News : March 7th 2019 Contents Cpl Joske Nettle
PEOPLE were rescued from roofs and
a lady reduced to tears as 35 Water
Tpt Sqn’s amphibious vehicles made
light work of floodwaters to evacuate
Townsville residents from February 1-11.
The squadron provided four LARC-
Vs and 30 soldiers to help more than 300
people leave the worst affected areas.
Section 2IC LCpl India Tanner said
the water ranged from waist to chest
“As we came down the street, people
would see us and come outside with their
bags and we would help them onto the
LARCs,” she said.
“With everyone’s personal belong-
ings and up to 20 people on board, it gets
pretty crowded, but everyone was just
happy for the help.
“We had babies, cats, dogs, birds in
their cages and all kinds of pets on board
with us that we had to take to safer loca-
The LARCs, partnered with 3 Bde
soldiers, traversed flooded areas to evac-
uate people from the top floors of homes
“The LARC crew and the 1RAR
soldiers would get out and head towards
stranded people in their homes,” she said.
“There was a lot of people that
were very overwhelmed and you could
see their faces ease as they noticed us
approaching to help, they were very
Help in high water
1 Catering Coy:
1 Catering Coy provided thousands
of meals to ADF and civilians
affected by the Townsville floods.
This included 24,000 meals in 72
hours processed by 8 Foodstuffs
Pl, while 1 Catering Pl prepared
15,000L of potable water in case of
mains water contamination.
Due to high risk of health threats,
all the food was tested for safe con-
Soldiers picked up fresh rations
from local suppliers and contrac-
tors delivered food to Lavarack
Barracks. 8 Foodstuffs Pl worked
with 1 Catering Coy and E&IG to
enable sustainable communication
for fresh food.
The food was distributed from two
messes on Lavarack Barracks with
support from elements of 1 CATR
2 Combat Supplies Coy:
2 Combat Supplies Coy were hard
at work sandbagging for the local
populace and transporting stores
for the emergency evacuation cen-
tre at Lavarack.
A general duties platoon was
raised in response to the area’s
heavy rainfall and filled with live-in
soldiers at Lavarack with a 30-min-
ute notice to move.
One task involved assisting local
messes to feed the ADF and
Keeping LARCs afloat
Workshop Pl made sure the
LARCs weren’t going to be sunk by
floating debris hitting the hulls.
Two LARCs sustained punctured
hulls which were repaired by a sol-
dier able to weld 5000 series alloy.
Soldiers repaired multiple electrical
and communications faults along
with water contaminations and
All vehicles were repaired and
returned to service, without inter-
ruption to capability.
1 Pl, 1 Catering Coy:
1 Catering Coy chefs went back
to school to provide students with
much needed relief.
1 Pl soldiers supported 1RAR and
their affiliated school as part of
recovery and clean-up operations.
Chefs provided respite to the
boarding students and staff at
Cathedral School, with many stu-
dents being from flood-affected
areas of rural Queensland.
1 Pl chefs also supported 3RAR
at William Ross State School and
Oonoonba State School.
Behind the scenes
“One lady had her bags and came up
to us, but had to wade back down the
street to get her cats.
“When she got on the vehicle, all the
emotions just hit her and she had a bit of
“It was hard to see, but at the same
time she was very grateful towards us
and everyone came together and com-
forted her as best we could.”
OC 35 Water Tpt Sqn Maj Natalie
Adams said her soldiers were happy to
“The soldiers demonstrated compas-
sion during the evacuation of residents,
which really contributed to calming some
of those people who were really stressed
and in shock at the situation,” she said.
“The LARCs were used because the
floodwaters had become really deep and
restricted most wheeled vehicles from
accessing flooded areas, so they essen-
tially needed boats.
“Even though the LARCs are old,
they are still really capable in disaster
recovery scenarios and are able to get in
and out of floodwaters to get to people
35 Water Tpt Sqn currently have a
troop of LARCs each embarked on HMA
Ships Choules and Canberra providing
support to Australia’s regional high-
risk weather response and Indo-Pacific
March 7, 2019
35 Water Tpt Sqn soldiers
patrol the flooded streets
of Townsville, and inset,
soldiers help residents
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