Military deploys 1200 troops to cyclone-ravaged communities in north Qld

THE Australian Defence Force has deployed more than 1000 troops to help cyclone-ravaged communities get back on their feet in north Queensland.

The ADF kicked off Operation Queensland Assist 17 to lend a helping hand with the mammoth clean-up and recovery effort following a formal request for assistance from the Queensland Government.

Acting Chief of Joint Operations, Major General Stuart Smith said the ADF had committed around 1,200 personnel and significant resources to the operation.


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“Operating under Joint Task Force 661 (JTF 661), the Defence response will see our sailors, soldiers and airmen undertaking a wide variety of tasks in support of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and other disaster coordination authorities,” Major General Smith said.

Royal Australian Air Force aircraft as well as HMAS Choules, a vessel ideally suited to domestic disaster relief operations, will also be ready to assist.

In consultation with relevant agencies, the military will prioritise areas and activities the ADF is best positioned and suited to support.

“These tasks will include: evacuation; aeromedical transport; search and rescue; assisting to restore critical infrastructure; road and route clearance; emergency food, water, fuel and shelter delivery and distribution; as well reconnaissance, surveillance and damage assessments,” Major General Smith said.

The ADF says it will review its support in consultation with Queensland and Australian Government agencies and will continue to scope options for assistance as the situation evolves.

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