In Focus

Photos: Operation Flood Assist wrap up

An Australian Army loadmaster on board an MHR-90 Taipan helicopter surveys floodwaters in Sydney’s west as part of Operation Flood Assist 2022. (ADF)

The Australian Defence Force is a fundamental part of saving lives in a crisis. Bella Richards provides an in-depth wrap up of the aircraft used for Operation Flood Assist 2022, and the experience of a flight lieutenant who led the charge.

Working for Defence is often thankless work, and as Australia experienced a year’s worth of rainfall in one month, many unsung heroes ran into the thick of mud and came to the rescue. While people in the worst-affected areas claimed the government was too late in coming to help, and rightfully so in many cases, a “once in a 1000-year crisis” doesn’t have a textbook manual. Hundreds of Defence officers, like Flight Lieutenant David Bowen-Thomas, a pilot at the No. 6 Squadron who was told to drop his job immediately to help lead the flood-assist charge, would argue their blood, sweat and tears weren’t just for nothing.

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