The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has concluded its assistance to the Northern Territory (NT) Government, after successfully contributing to Australia’s largest pre-cyclone evacuation operation ahead of Tropical Cyclone Trevor.
Three Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules transport aircraft transported more than 950 residents out of Groote Eylandt and McArthur River Mine airfield near Borroloola on 22-24 March.
ADF personnel also assisted with the establishment of evacuation centres in Katherine and Darwin for hundreds of evacuees.
In the three days following the cyclone, ADF aircraft safely transported 451 residents back to their local communities.
Commanding the ADF response, Commander 1st Brigade Brigadier Matt Pearse said the coordination effort relied on contributions from multiple agencies led by the Northern Territory Emergency Services and supported by Emergency Management Australia.
“The proactive decision of the Northern Territory Government to declare a state of emergency early on allowed us to coordinate with emergency services and other agencies to move people from vulnerable locations,” Brigadier Pearse said.
“It has been an honour to support our community. The evacuees have shown remarkable resilience over the past week.”
Defence has also been providing local assistance in Western Australia in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Veronica.
The Australian Army’s Pilbara Regiment assisted WA Police with the evacuation of 21 civilians from an isolated community near Port Headland, which was under threat of rising flood waters.
Defence maintains a range of short notice domestic disaster relief response options and stands ready to support future requests for assistance from local, state and Federal Government.