Defence personnel are helping emergency services in any way possible during the national response to the bushfire crisis.
In Tumut, NSW, there is a small team from 65 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond who have become the driving force behind the Rural Fire Service and the State Emergency Service, delivering meals, maps, operational orders and spare parts to the services, relieving the hard-pressed volunteers of these very necessary support tasks.
A plumber from 65 Squadron, Corporal Shane Watts is supplying bulldozer drivers working alongside Army engineers building containment lines to the north of Tumut.
“I was contacted to deploy at 7pm on a Thursday night, and by 7 o’clock the next morning we were gone,” Corporal Watts said.
He was is honoured to help the emergency services, and that the reception from everyone in the affected areas had been overwhelming.
“They have continually thanked us for the help we have given them, but really it is the other way around," Corporal Watts said.
“The big ‘thank you’ needs to be with them for what they have achieved.”