How the Defence Force is assisting with the firefighting efforts

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As Australian firefighters continue to endure the early start to the season, firefighting resources are being pushed and pulled across the country. On the 8th of November, the Australian Defence Force began assisting with the firefighting efforts.

State and territories still hold the primary responsibility when it comes to firefighting, but the ADF is able to assist with logistics, transport, accommodation and aerial fire reconnaissance.

Here’s a list of some of the equipment that has been deployed by the ADF to assist with firefighting and logistical operations.

  • Royal Australian Air Force 737 Boeing business jet for crew transportation.
  • Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules aircraft transported firefighters and their equipment.
  • Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport transported firefighters and their equipment.
  • Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster aircraft transported firefighters.
  • MRH-90 Taipan helicopters from the Royal Australian Navy.
  • S-70 Black Hawk helicopters from the Australian Army provided movements for Rural Fire Service strike teams and, if required, the rescue of civilian personnel. Also assistance with impact assessments.
  • Royal Australian Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopters flew night missions to facilitate air observers.
  • EC135 helicopters from the Royal Australian Navy.
  • Army Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopters supported Queensland Fire and Emergency Services conducting night fire mapping.

Images courtesy of ADF Media.

Video: NAVY

As well as providing ways to move firies and equipment around the country, there have been troops on the ground assisting with a whole gamut of operations.

  • Army supported Queensland Fire and Emergency Service helicopter operations at Borneo Barracks, near Toowoomba.
  • Singleton Army Barracks provided accommodation and catering support for the Victorian Country Fire Authority.
  • Navy and Army aviation liaison capability worked within the New South Wales Rural Fire Service State Operations Centre.
  • Australian Defence Force personnel from Kokoda Barracks, Canungra, and the 7th Brigade, Brisbane, provided engineering support to assist Queensland Fire and Emergency Services to clean up fire breaks near Beechmont.
  • Kokoda Army Barracks, Canungra, provided meals for firefighters.
  • RAAF Base Pearce provided support to aerial firefighting aircraft from the Western Australian Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
  • RAAF Base Williamtown provided refuelling and water re-supply support to a large aerial tanker from the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.
  • Army’s Borneo Barracks near Toowoomba established a helicopter-landing site, overnight parking and refuelling capability for firefighting and support.

Images courtesy of ADF Media.

I have to say, those images and video of firies working out of military aircraft are pretty unreal. It’s amazing to see and hats off to those at the co-ordination level that keep all these wheels turning.

Thanks to the ADF for the images and information.

Stay safe!

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