With strong links to the Northern suburbs of Adelaide, Warrant Officer Class Two Darren Wasley jumped at the opportunity to assist the Lyell McEwin and Modbury Hospitals with their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WO2 Wasley has previously served as the Squadron Sergeant Major at 3rd/9th Light Horse Regiment (South Australian Mounted Rifles), a light cavalry unit based at nearby Smithfield.
Now the Company Sergeant Major of Beersheba Company of Adelaide Universities Regiment, WO2 Wasley said he immediately volunteered to help with the planning role, supporting the local area health networks in South Australia.
"Many of the soldiers and their families from my former unit live and work in the area and I saw this as a way that I could tangibly support the local community,” he said.
"We are used to planning for complex, high-tempo operational environments, so it has been rewarding to be able to share those skills with the staff here at the hospital.
"The planning support provided means that the hospital is in an excellent position to deal with COVID-19 if there are any further outbreaks in the community.
"It has been a two-way street though as the Defence planners have also learnt about the complexities of working in one of the northern suburbs' largest hospitals.”
Chief Operating Officer of the Northern Area Local Health Network, Karen Puvogel, said CAPT Justin Pape and WO2 Wasley had integrated seamlessly into the organisation.
The Northern Area Local Health Network is very appreciative of the support provided by the ADF.
“From the beginning of April when they arrived they have assisted our incident management team, enabling us to leverage off their knowledge and experience in military planning,” Ms Puvogel said.
“The network was able to incorporate many of the Defence planning concepts and methodology to aid detailed planning being conducted in response to COVID-19. Having reviewed our structure, we were able to adopt a more directive ‘military command’ style of structure.
“The adoption of the structure ultimately enhanced the interoperability of the network and timeliness of our decision-making cycle.
“Once foreign concepts, situational reports and orders are now commonplace in the way we do business.
“The Northern Area Local Health Network is very appreciative of the support provided by the ADF.”
Australian Defence Force personnel are continuing to support state and territory governments as part of the nationwide response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reconnaissance and planning support teams continue to assist the South Australian Government with its emergency response planning.
Across the country, the 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.