Home' Navy News : February 17th 2011 Contents 15
February 17, 2011
AS PART of the ADF's
Victorian flood relief
effort, military units --
including a Navy element
of 35 sailors and two Seahawks from
816 Squadron -- provided assistance
in flood-affected areas.
Initially the Seahawks provid-
ed transport for the Victorian State
Emergency Service and command ele-
ments of Army's 4th Brigade, which
coordinated Defence assistance.
They also helped with food and
relief drops for locals and livestock
on isolated properties, during which
two crew members were winched to
the ground to help transfer 16 bags
weighing 800kg each and a 300kg
feed-hopper to a piggery.
POA Nathan Minett said the crew
managed to deliver a week's supply of
food to the farm.
"The feed delivery allowed enough
time for the waters to recede so the
farmer could arrange his own trans-
port," POA Minett said.
"We were happy to get out into the
flood area and help out.
"It was really good to be involved
as part of the ADF and the Navy."
The owner of the Macorna
Pastoral Company, Rod Griffiths, said
there were 3000 animals stranded on
the farm ranging from big sows to
A Seahawk and its crew from Nowra-based 816 Squadron
came to the rescue of a farmer in Leitchville by air-lifting
feed for his pigs, stranded during the Victorian floods.
LCPL Mark Doran reports from the flood zone.
es drop in
"I don't know what we would
have done if the Navy had not been
able to help out," Mr Griffiths said.
"The water was still three to four
feet deep on the road and the tractor
was sinking up to the differential, so
it would not have been able to handle
the extra weight."
Mr Griffiths' wife Wendy said
they had been getting the staff in
every day by boat because the road
had been under water for a week.
"My husband and I really appreci-
ated the help," Mrs Griffiths said.
"The piggery is a big operation
and was a big investment so the assis-
tance from the ADF was great.
"The Navy came to our rescue."
SECURE: LSA Nick Lowe helps
farmer Rod Griffiths secure a
load before an 816 Squadron
Seahawk airlifts the feed to
stranded livestock on his farm
near Leitchville in Victoria while,
inset, Wendy Griffiths chats with
POA Nathan Minett and LSA
Lowe. Photos: LCPL Mark Doran
ABOUT 120 ADF personnel were
involved in providing specialised
assistance and emergency support
during the Victorian flood relief
On January 19, 100 troops from
Army's 4th Brigade Reserve Response
Force deployed to assess areas affected
by the floods alongside transport teams
already at work helping with evacua-
tions and delivering sandbags.
The assessment teams conducted
3200 direct observations over five days,
providing critical and timely information
about infrastructure and damage to pri-
vate property, and reported human and
animal distress situations to relevant
The 4th Brigade troops moved from
Bendigo to Swan Hill where they sup-
ported the Victorian SES, including
transporting about 300 volunteers from
Swan Hill to Lake Boga.
Joining volunteers and SES work-
ers, the ADF helped build a sandbag
levee bank along the edge of the lake,
protecting up to 300 properties in low-
On January 24, two Seahawks were
redeployed from Queensland to Victoria
and have since completed more than
40 flying hours, including delivering
16,000kg of stock feed to starving
The Navy Aviation Liaison Officer
to the 4th Brigade, LCDR Bill Canna,
said the flash flooding experienced in
Queensland was different to the slow-
moving sea of water in Victoria.
"It's been good to conduct inland,
low-level reconnaissance," LCDR Canna
"Since we usually operate out at
sea, inland, low-level visual navigation
has been a different experience.
"We've gained a great deal of job
satisfaction from our involvement both
in Queensland and Victoria."
The Victorian SES has since advised
the ADF that they have adequate
capacity to provide ongoing support
and meet future requirements for flood
Victorian flood relief
GOOD TO GO: The
Seahawk begins the
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