More than 250 Army soldiers from 17th Sustainment Brigade were rapidly preparing to respond to the flood crisis in Lismore in northern New South Wales on March 4, as part of Operation Flood Assist 2022. 

The detachment includes logistics, medical and real-life support elements sent to support the wider Australian Defence Force effort and locals as they continue to assist with the emergency response.

Fuel operators from 9th Force Support Battalion, caterers from 10th Force Support Battalion and general duties and communications specialists from 145th Signals Squadron also deployed to provide support. Environmental health and preventative medical teams from 2nd Health Battalion and 3rd Health Support Battalion are also deployed.

Commander of 17th Sustainment Brigade, Brigadier Natasha Ludwig, said she welcomed the opportunity to provide relief to the town of Lismore.

“The 17th Sustainment Brigade is well postured to provide logistics and health support to the ADF elements operating out of Lismore, and in south-east Queensland,” Brigadier Ludwig said on March 4.

“We are contributing prepared, professional, and capable teams  ready to conduct bulk-refuelling, medical support and catering support. 17th Sustainment Brigade will also provide almost 200 general duties personnel – we know from experience in these types of support operations that tasks are unpredictable and can change daily."

Corporal Jarrod Garnet of 9th Force Support Battalion unloads essential supplies for distribution to flood-affected areas in northern NSW during Operation Flood Assist 2022.

In charge of the road transport movements from 17th Sustainment Brigade, troop commander and recent Royal Military College at Duntroon graduate Lieutenant Sally Gray said her team were looking forward to the opportunity to provide support.

“Our vehicles are ready, we have our people assigned, and we’re feeling very positive about the opportunity to provide help to the community of Lismore,” Lieutenant Gray said.

“Well before we were tasked to provide this support, my troop have been keen to assist our local community, with many volunteering their weekends.

“Like all Australians, we really want to help, and we’re looking forward to contributing to the emergency response in whatever way we can.”

You can see more of the ADFs work on Operation Flood Assist 2022 in the Defence image gallery.