Defence Force to help with flood clean up
The Australian Defence Force has established Operation NSW Flood Assist and is preparing about 700 personnel to help the state with recovery efforts as the waters recede.
About 300 ADF members are on standby to deploy from tomorrow after NSW formally requested the help from the federal government, with that expected to double in the coming days.
The ADF is currently supporting the NSW government's efforts with aerial search and rescue support and civilian evacuation operations.
Under the new Operation, ADF rotary wing aircraft, including three Army MRH-90 helicopters, will deploy from Sydney and Townsville on Thursday to supplement the two ADF helicopters from HMAS Albatross currently complementing state search and rescue capabilities.
Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud said defence assistance would be crucial in complementing the great work of NSW's first responders and aiding in recovery efforts on the ground.
"Our men and women of the ADF have expertise and assets which will aid NSW in search and rescue efforts," he said.
"When the immediate crisis has subsided, ADF capabilities and muscle will be key in helping communities recover.
"We are proud to be able to support NSW in this way."
Acting Defence Minister Marise Payne said "substantial ADF capabilities" were preparing to support NSW.
"When the flood waters subside, the Army Emergency Support Force will be able to assist with tasks such as clearing debris, sandbagging, clean-up duties and helping restore essential services such as electricity and water," she said.
"Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted by these devastating floods in NSW.
On Tuesday RAAF Base Richmond started supporting the Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Service to evacuate residents from the Colo River region.
This support included providing civilian aircraft with access to the base, aircraft refuelling services and escorting evacuees to evacuation centres.
This support of RAAF Richmond personnel enabled the safe evacuation of anyone requiring immediate medical treatment, such as dialysis, over four separate flights.
Originally published as Defence Force to help with flood clean up