The Royal Australian Navy’s largest ship, Landing Helicopter Dock HMAS Adelaide has joined HMAS Choules and MV Sycamore in support of Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 19-20.
The ship is now positioned in Twofold Bay near Eden and has been conducting liaison meetings with local authorities, police and fire crews. Medical staff have provided some initial first aid support to local communities and the ship has been preparing for all contingencies.
The light vehicle deck on Adelaide has been transformed into an emergency accommodation area for any potential evacuees. Staff have prepared bedding, refreshments and care facilities to cater for any arrivals. Even the small things like phone charger points and pet support have been considered and made ready.
For Sub Lieutenant Cameron Blanch, assistant Maritime Logistics Officer, the preparations have been a well planned and executed activity.
“Everyone has pitched in and helped out, this has been a whole ship evolution. We all know how important this task is and want to do our best to help the community in anyway,” he said.
Elsewhere on the ship, teams prepare for assistance activities ranging from medical care, food packages and communications to engineering support.
The Executive Officer of HMAS Adelaide, Commander Jace Hutchison has been delighted by the enthusiasm and dedication demonstrated by the crew, some of whom reside in the bushfire hit communities.
“I am extremely proud of the way the ship’s company have responded in such a short time frame,” he said.
“We are providing assurance to the Australian community that we have got their back and we are ready to stand by them during this difficult time,” said Commander Hutchison.
HMAS Adelaide in conjunction with other Defence assets will continue to provide support in the region as requested by the relevant authorities.