Personnel have begun returning home after supporting disaster recovery efforts in Queensland.
Australian Defence Force personnel are winding down their contribution to emergency and flood recovery work in south-east Queensland, with state requests for assistance set to conclude on Friday (25 March).
This will mark an end to a month of support for Queensland and NSW governments as part of Operation Flood Assist 2022, which commenced on 25 February.
Over 1,600 ADF personnel were available for support in south-east Queensland at the peak of the emergency response.
- Aviation support to search and rescue or evacuation missions, including 54 rescues in Queensland;
- Defence personnel embedded with the State Disaster Coordination Centre (SDCC) and the District Disaster Coordination Cells (DDCC) at Gympie, the Gold Coast and Ipswich, as well as Brisbane Local Disaster Coordination Cell;
- Clearing road access to facilitate recovery of critical infrastructure, including telecommunications;
- Welfare checks and helping assess immediate support needs of isolated communities;
- Restoring Brisbane Markets, home to 5,000 employees;
- Short notice support to flood-affected aged-care facilities in Yeronga, The Gap, Lutwyche, Mitchelton and Tallebudgera;
- Delivery of essential food, water, medicalsupplies to isolated communities;
- Utilising a P-8A Poseidon to conduct aerial damage assessments to aid in recovery efforts; and
- Hydrographic survey and clearance of sub-surface obstructions in the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay.
The ADF was also supported by visiting crew of the US navy ship USS Frank Cable.
Lieutenant General Greg Bilton AO CSC, Chief of Joint Operations, lauded the efforts of ADF personnel.
“I am immensely proud of the ADF’s response to this severe flooding event and thankful to our US partners who offered their support,” LTGEN Bilton said.
“I know from my discussions with our personnel on the ground that they’ve worked tirelessly alongside local community members, and state and local government agencies.
“Defence is now in a position to commence handing over responsibilities and tasks to Queensland civil recovery agencies.”
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Commander Joint Task Force 629, Major General David Thomae, AM, said the ADF would be ready to extend further support if conditions deteriorate.
“While some of our people are returning home to prepare for the next challenge, they are ready to provide additional support if needed as the longer-term recovery efforts continue,” MAJGEN Thomae said.
ADF personnel providing flood-relief support in Sydney area are also returning to their home units, as their operations come to a conclusion.