Operation COVID-19 Assist
Messages from the Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr AO, DSC, MVO:
COVID-19 is a serious and rapidly evolving global challenge and will have profound impacts on Australia. The support to Australia during this time is Army’s main priority.
This virus does not discriminate, and the only way to reduce its spread is to strictly adhere to the direction given. You can access regular updates on the official government “Coronavirus Australia” app on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
We urge everybody to stay informed of the risks, symptoms and the process for testing and reporting. If you suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms, call the national COVID-19 hotline on 1800 020 080. Immediately isolate yourself and help protect others.
Operation COVID-19 Assist
On Wednesday 1 April, the establishment of Operation COVID-19 Assist was announced.
Army’s efforts to support the COVID-19 response builds on the extraordinary efforts and courage of first responders, maintenance specialists, border force agents and others. Our people are a part of the joint Defence response and will support Government and local communities, Industry partners and many others.
This is Army at its best. Stepping up to help others, to contribute in unique ways, to reassure and protect.
More information on Defence’s Response to COVID-19:
News stories on Operation COVID-19 Assist:
Imagery/Video of Operation COVID-19 Assist:
- Army specific imagery - Search for "COVID-19"
- Army specific videos
- Defence wide imagery
- Defence wide videos
Join the Australian Army online community:
Here are some of our most recent posts:
#OurPeople from 5th Brigade have answered a call for help from the Australian Foodbank charity in Sydney. With the organisation’s regular team of volunteers isolated due to COVID-19 restrictions, our soldiers were able to step in to assist with packing and loading food for distribution to state welfare agencies. Our work with Foodbank is part of our ongoing commitment to give back to communities in times of need. The Australian Defence Force is providing customised support to all state and territory authorities to reinforce, amplify and expand their capacity to deal with the impacts of COVID-19. To keep updated on the support being offered, head to: http://ow.ly/rUWd50yX3iV.
#OurPeople are currently providing logistics, communication & medic support to the NT Police at three border control locations on the Stuart, Barkly & Victoria Highways as part of the whole-of-government response to #COVID19. Army’s efforts to support the whole-of-government COVID-19 response builds on the extraordinary efforts and courage of so many first responders, maintenance specialists, border force agents and others. To read more about Defence's response to COVID-19, head to the link in our bio.
Over the weekend, #OurPeople began working alongside state police at Sydney and Brisbane Airport to assist with the mandatory quarantine of arriving international passengers. #YourADF are providing customised support to all state and territory authorities to reinforce, amplify and expand their capacity to deal with the impacts of #COVID19. We remain postured to provide additional support, across Australia, as required. To read more about Defence's response to COVID-19, head to the link in our bio.
A message from the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Rick Burr AO, DSC, MVO to the Army: COVID-19 is a serious challenge that will impact us in many ways. It is real, it is serious, and we all have an individual responsibility to act. There are many things we will need to do, but first and foremost we must protect #OurPeople – you, your families – so that we can preserve our capability. We need to be fit to fight. There is a lot of guidance and direction out there that we all need to follow. Put simply, your actions must demonstrate that we are all committed to stop the spread of this pandemic that is so threatening to our society. This virus does not discriminate, and the only way to reduce its spread is to strictly adhere to the direction given, which is regularly updated on the COVID-19 app the Government recently released. It is simple and it is clear and applies to everyone. Across Army, and across Defence, we need to adjust to the new environment. We have a responsibility to continue to function within these necessary restrictions. On 31 March, the CDF released direction regarding ADF essential functions, social distancing measures and training. Subsequently, I have issued instructions to meet this direction and prepare the Army for an operation to assist the national effort to protect citizens against this threat. I do not know the details of the tasks that Army will be asked to do in the coming weeks and months. Many of them will be different to the tasks you are specifically trained for. However, I am completely confident that you will step up, adapt to the problem, serve the nation with pride and selflessly support our communities during what will be difficult times. The themes of Army in Motion and Good Soldiering should resonate with you as you perform these duties. This will be a tough time, and we will ask a lot of you and your family. So please, use the time that you have now wisely. Get yourself organised, help build family readiness and resilience and help your team become more ready to deal with these forthcoming challenges. Lead by your example and improve your confidence and capability to respond when needed.
On Thursday 2nd April, 180 of #YourADF personnel returned home from operations in the Middle East. Normally, family and friends would be gathered at the airport arrival gate with signs saying ‘Welcome home!’ or ‘WE LOVE YOU!’. Sadly, due to current events, there were no signs, hugs or tears from loved ones on arrival. Our returning personnel have been placed into hotel quarantine in the city of their disembarkation, the same as any other returning Australian citizen or permanent resident. We understand that this is a difficult time for the families and friend of those returning and we thank you for your patience during this period. We look forward to reuniting you with your loved ones soon. Army is committed to ensuring our actions follow Department of Health instructions to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of #OpCOVID19Assist, #OurPeople have joined forces with the NSW Police to assist with conducting welfare checks on members of the public who are undergoing mandatory quarantine. These checks are taking place at both private homes and in hotels across Sydney, following the decision that all international arrivals in Australia are required to undergo a 14 day quarantine period. To read more about Defence's response to #COVID19, head to: http://ow.ly/34UA50yZhzf.