Australian Army Taipans and Chinooks have been deployed to Victoria to support communities affected by the current floods.
The state’s SES has already received more than 8,000 calls for help and carried out 730 rescues due to the severe weather this week.
In particular, the flooding caused huge devastation to communities near the Maribyrnong River as well as along the Campaspe, Goulburn and Murray Rivers.
Defence said on Friday that 400 ADF personnel have deployed to Victoria to provide support, including sandbagging, transport for isolated families, water diversion and the construction of levees in flood-affected areas.
Two CH-47 Chinooks are also assisting with the evacuation of communities, lifting heavy equipment and supplying food to isolated communities.
In NSW, 20 personnel have deployed to support Moree, and a further 20 personnel will deploy to Dubbo from October 21.
From October 22, 40 personnel will deploy to the Condobolin, Deniliquin and Hillston areas.
Commander of Operation Flood Assist support in Victoria, Brigadier Matt Burr, said, “We continue to be inspired by the communities we are serving and the community response we are seeing across flood-affected areas.
“The joint effort inspires the ADF forces to continue to do the work they are doing shoulder to shoulder with emergency responders on the ground as part of that wider team.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said his government were “deeply grateful” for the ADF’s help.
“On behalf of all Victorians, I thank Brigadier Burr and all of his team for the really important work they are doing,” Premier Andrews said.
“We have had ADF here in the state control centre, over a long time period of time, floods and fire and everything in between. Sometimes it’s very specialist skills about logistics and tasking, people who have that very important skill set, all the way through to people who are doing airlifts of cargo, of people and indeed, evacuating people.”
This latest delivery takes the total size of the Australian Army Aviation Command’s CH-47F Chinook medium-lift helicopter fleet to 14, all operated by C Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment.
The Chinook is billed as an advanced multi-mission helicopter, which leverages a fully integrated, digital cockpit management system, Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) Cockpit, and advanced cargo-handling capabilities.
The twin-engine platform has a top speed of 170 knots (315 kilometres per hour).
The Chinook is primarily deployed for troop movement, artillery emplacement, and battlefield resupply.