Navy personnel from Cairns in northern Queensland joined the fight against COVID-19 after arriving at Avalon Airport, south-west of Melbourne, in a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster last week.
The Royal Australian Navy sent sailors and officers to help with the ADF's contributions in the whole-of-government response to COVID-19.
Commanding Officer of HMAS Melville Commander Michael Kumpis said the members would be deployed to Victoria for eight weeks as a part of Defence’s COVID-19 task force.
"We have sent 70 personnel from Cairns-based units HMA Ships Melville, Shepparton and Benalla which include patrol boat personnel, Maritime Geospatial Warfare personnel and Fleet Logistic Support Elements," Commander Kumpis said.
"The sailors will support the Department of Health and Human Services with its close contact tracing and door-knocking to detect positive infections and provide close contact notification to community members who are uncontactable via telephone."
The group will join more than 3500 Defence personnel already deployed nationally across Australia in fighting the spread of COVID-19.
“It’s a large contingency — we are in a strong situation to support the effort in Victoria while still maintaining operations in Cairns," Commander Kumpis said.
"Defence is contributing to the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic with a range of personnel and logistics support.
"They have prepared responses to a variety of contingencies through the emergency management Australian led response."
Commander Kumpis grew up in Werribee, west of Melbourne, and said that he was proud of the Navy personnel and the role they'll be playing in supporting the communities of Victoria.
"I wish them well and to stay safe, and I look forward to seeing them when they return in eight weeks," Commander Kumpis said.