Disaster relief at home

Joint Task Force 662 Search Task Group soldiers prepare to search fire affected properties in the Kinglake West area, as part of the Australian Defence Force's contribution to the continuing bushfire crisis in Victoria.

Over recent years, the Army has been involved in a number of domestic natural disaster relief efforts. While the initial response to a disaster and the primary responsibility for the protection of life, property and the environment in emergencies, short of war, rests with the States and Territories, Army has demonstrated its adaptable nature and ability to respond to challenging and complex tasks - at short notice - within Australia. This is testament to the quality, skill and dedication of Army's people.

Where civilian resources are inadequate, unavailable or cannot be mobilised in time, emergency Defence Assistance to the Civil Community arrangements enable the Australian Defence Force to contribute in order to save human life, alleviate suffering and prevent loss of animal life or property.

Provision of Defence assistance follows a request from the relevant State or Territory government to Emergency Management Australia.

Australian Army soldiers clean up in Bundaberg, QLD.


As floodwaters receded and the road to Bundaberg reopened, Soldiers from 7th Brigade deployed on Operation Queensland Flood Assist II to help in another flood-ravaged January.

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A line of Defence personnel building a sandbag wall.

Vic troops join flood relief in Paynesville, Victoria

Melbourne based reservists joined forces with Air Force and Navy personnel from East Sale to help the residents of Victoria’s Gippsland region battle floodwaters on June 6 and 7, 2012.

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PTE Davis from 3 RAR assists in the clean-up of the storm affected area.

Response to severe weather in Townsville

In response to the severe weather incidents that occurred in Townsville on 20 March 2012, the Townsville based 3rd Brigade of the Australian Army will be supplying members to assist Townsville Council and the Queensland Police Service to provide immediate clean up to the affected area.

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Mr Richard Whyte is assisted by personnel from the Army Reserve’s 21st Construction Regiment to clean up his flood affected home in North Wagga Wagga.

Wagga Wagga floods 2012

Army members from the Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka, through Defence Assistance to the Civil Community temporarily suspended training to lend a hand to Wagga Wagga local authorities to mitigate flooding.

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Troops from the School of Armour prepare to head home after deploying for sandbagging and other flood-prevention tasks in Victoria.

Numurkah floods 2012

The School of Armour deployed 36 members of the support squadron, including cavalry, tank, transport and mechanical specialists to Numurkah on March 3 2012.

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WO2 Steve Carter assists flood victims 29 miles south of Charleville, South East Queensland.

Emergency Support Force to South East Queensland 2012

After almost a week of battling mozzies, midges and putrid mud in sweltering conditions the Australian Defence Force Emergency Support Force (ESF) departed south east Queensland’s flood stricken communities and returned to their home units on February 14.

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Soldiers from 3/4 Cavalry Regiment assist in the clean up of the suburb of Gulliver after Cyclone Yasi.

Operation YASI ASSIST 2011

Australian Defence Force personnel have been called on again in the wake of a second natural disaster as Tropical Cyclone Yasi crossed the north Queensland coast.

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Parked in the town of Grantham is a line of Army Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles.


The Australian Army played a critical role in responding to the worst natural disaster in Queensland’s history. In total, over 1900 ADF personnel were deployed as Joint Task Force 637 (JTF 637) on Operation QUEENSLAND FLOOD ASSIST.

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Joint Task Force 662 Search Task Group, Private Adam Honeybun records the position and damage details of a property in Marysville, as part of the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the bushfire crisis in Victoria.

Operation VIC FIRE ASSIST 2009

Few of the Defence Aid to the Civil Community tasks involving the Army Reserve in recent decades compare with the efforts of the 4th Brigade and other 2nd Division brigades in the aftermath of the horrific Victorian bushfires of 7 February 2009.

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Members of 25 Support Squadron 3 Combat Engineer Regiment clearing away debris from the roads of the small coastal community of Bingil Bay.

Operation LARRY ASSIST 2006

At 7.30 am on 20 March 2006 Tropical Cyclone Larry crossed the North Queensland coastline at Innisfail. For the first time in a number of years, 3 Brigade’s Defence Aid to the Civil Community procedures were implemented to assist the North Queensland communities that were devastated by the category five cyclone.

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