Home' Navy News : February 17th 2011 Contents NAVY NEWS
February 17, 2011
OPERATION YASI ASSIST
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ABCIS Melanie Schinkel
(02) 6265 2427
(02) 6266 7607
0414 552 667
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SERVING AUSTRALIA WITH PRIDE
SERVING AUSTRAL IA WITH PRIDE
Navy The official newspaper of the Royal Australian Navy
By Graham McBean
ADF personnel have been called on
again in the wake of a second natu-
ral disaster as Tropical Cyclone Yasi
crossed the north Queensland coast.
More than 1200 sailors, soldiers
and airmen under command of
JTF 664 responded within hours of
Cyclone Yasi cutting a swath across
Another 400 personnel outside the
impact area provided JTF 664 with
aerial surveillance and imagery of
damage while air transport delivered
critical stores and personnel.
Commander JTF 664 BRIG Stuart
Smith (commander of the Townsville-
based 3 Brigade) said many ADF
personnel had begun preparing even
before the cyclone had hit.
"Even before the winds abated
many of the sailors, soldiers and air-
men involved turned up for duty and
deployed into the disaster zone," BRIG
"They had not even seen their
own homes and had left their partners
BRIG Smith said the Yasi response
effort had benefitted greatly from the
experience gained from other disasters,
particularly Cyclone Larry.
He said one of the regional mayors
had told him the Yasi response after
two days was at the same point that
Cyclone Larry was after seven days.
BRIG Smith said the teamwork,
rapid response capability of the ADF
and its initiative was a primary contri-
bution to this success.
"Sailors from HMAS Cairns sailed
their landing craft north and waited out
the cyclone," he said.
"They then sailed immediately
south to Townsville to pick up heavy
equipment to bring to the disaster
Cairns-based clearance divers again
assisted the Queensland Police Service
identify navigational hazards.
The divers worked at Hinchinbrook
Marina near Cardwell in a similar mis-
sion to that in the Brisbane River dur-
ing the flood response.
By noon on February 8, 20 partly
submerged vessels had been located
and a further three were confirmed
Army unit 51 Far North
Queensland Regiment (FNQR
at the vanguard of the ADF a
in route surveying and road c
Another two 51 FNQR pa
involved in identification of a
landing zones in Innisfail and
Up to February 7, Air For
Airs, C-130s and C-17s had f
about 80 hours of support tas
moved more than 322 tonnes
including about 220 tonnes o
Soldiers and airmen from
Barracks and RAAF Base Ga
were quickly deployed on cle
tasks in Townsville.
BRIG Smith thanked the m
families for their understandi
"Some families have recen
arrived in north Queensland,"
"Many of their removals h
affected by the floods, so it re
been a demanding time."
BRIG Smith said he admi
ADF personnel for their effor
said their contribution was hi
effective and warmly received
north Queensland community
" hhe said.
d bby the
By LEUT Samantha Dudley
PERSONNEL from HMAS Cairns
(CMDR Wendy Bullen) have rolled
up their sleeves and helped the
community throughout far north
Queensland during Operation Yasi
On February 9 Cairns Health
Centre personnel helped the
Queensland Ambulance Service and
Air Force with the return of Cairns
Base Hospital patients who had been
evacuated to Brisbane before the
OIC LEUT Michael Holman said it
was a rewarding and valuable experi-
ence for the medical staff.
"Although a devastating event, we
take pride in being able to provide this
sort of assistance to our civil coun-
terparts and the local community," he
Earlier in the recovery efforts,
HMA Ships Brunei and Tarakan
deployed to assist to Emergency
Management Queensland. The LCHs
operated between Townsville and
Mourilyan Harbour, transporting
heavy-lift equipment for repairs in the
Cairns sailors rise to the challenge
Mission Beach, Tully and Mourilyan
Both LCHs conducted a resup-
ply run between Townsville and
Mourilyan before returning to
Townsville where they were kept on
standby to provide additional amphibi-
ous capabilities in case of further road
closures caused by floods between
Townsville and Tully.
Before leaving Townsville the
crews helped their Army colleagues
and SES workers clear fallen trees and
branches from the city's streets.
CO Brunei LEUT Jordan said there
was a great deal of work to be done in
"Our crews were extremely keen
to assist their fellow Queenslanders in
their time of need," he said.
Other Cairns-based personnel
have also provided hands-on recov-
ery assistance. Sailors have worked
with civilian authorities and the SES to
aid clean-up in areas including Cairns
city, Babinda, Innisfail, Miriwinni,
Port Hinchinbrook and Tully, while
clearance divers deployed to Port
Hinchinbrook and provided assistance
to police divers (see page 3).
CRITICAL WORK: LSMED Benjamin Sloan, a member of the Cairns
Health Centre, assists the Queensland Ambulance Service return
patients to Cairns Base Hospital. The patients had been evacuated to
Brisbane hospitals before Cyclone Yasi hit.
Photo: LEUT Samantha Dudley
From February 2-9 ADF support
to cyclone-affected communities
Supplying about 2800 ration
packs in the Cairns area and
more than 390 ration packs
and about 400 bottles of water
Delivering almost 50 tonnes of
stores to the Cairns district and
about 20 tonnes to Townsville.
Clearing more than 160km of
road in Townsville.
Removing debris from
about 260km of road in the
Townsville area, 35km in Cairns
and about 45km in Innisfail.
Clearing the yards and grounds
of more than 90 community
properties in Townsville and
40 community properties in
Cutting and clearing trees
from more than 210 sites and
clearing debris from about 90
houses in Innisfail.
Collecting and dumping almost
250 tonnes of debris from
Conducting door knocks
on about 5000 homes in
Townsville and more than 450
homes in Innisfail.
The movement of civilians
by air or road -- about 210 in
Cairns, 90 in Townsville and 14
ADF at forefront
of Yasi recovery
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