Things turned very real very quickly for a group of Joint Operations Support Staff (JOSS) ADFLOs, who arrived at RAAF Base Richmond for an emergency management course on February 9, when  heavy rain resulted in them receiving State Emergency Service flood evacuation text messages.

Fortunately for them, the message was intended for people living in North Richmond, but it was a realistic glimpse into what the course would offer.

NSW Manager Joint Operations Support Staff, Major Sean O’Brien, said the 40 Army, Air Force and NSW Police Force members on the course were given presentations from multiple emergency management agencies.

“NSW RFS, SES, NSW Police Force, EMA, Justice Department and Charles Sturt University lecturers all delivered top-class presentations,” Major O’Brien said.

“The JOSS Induction and Professional Development Course enables future ADFLOs to understand Emergency Management processes and procedures as it pertains to the ADF.

“The success of the course was due to all presentations being delivered by experienced professionals in emergency management.”

A NSW Police Force member on the course, Senior Constable Jenny Cobb, from the Emergency Management Unit (EMU), said she was chosen to attend because her sector had responsibility for utilising Defence locations for training and exercises.

“The current sergeant at EMU, who is the contact for Defence Aid to the Civil Community (DACC) is transferring to another unit, so by attending the course I hope to gain a better understanding of the relationship between NSWPF and the ADF,” Senior Constable Cobb said.

“This will assist my future role as the contact for DACC requests.

“The course has given me a great insight into how the ADF works and how they operate in an emergency, along with the challenges they face with inter-agency response.

“I really enjoyed the inter-agency training as it gives a clearer understanding of the roles and services each can provide, which in turn, will assist in future responses to multi-agency emergency operations.”

A highlight of the course was an RFS-conducted tour of two air tankers recently used in the bushfires and based at RAAF Base Richmond.

Each state has a JOSS and a number of ADFLOs who provide the interface and liaison between civilian combat agencies and the ADF.