More than 100 soldiers from Townsville’s Alpha Company the 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) have arrived in Sydney to help stop the spread of COVID-19.  

For many in the company, including Lieutenant Chloe Earle and Private Dean Lovatt, this is their first operational experience.

“This is actually my first year in Army. I am excited to be a part of Operation COVID-19 Assist and supporting the NSW Government’s response to the pandemic,” Lieutenant Earle said.

“I’m looking forward to this operation and being able to help NSW Police in the work they do on the border checkpoints,” Private Lovatt said.

Officer-in-Charge of the 3 RAR contingent Major Patrick Rooney said his troops had just finished a major field-training exercise.

“The men and women in the battalion are keen to get in and help. The vibe is good and positive and this operation seems an excellent next step after our training exercises,” Major Rooney said.

The Commander of the COVID-19 Task Group in New South Wales, Brigadier Michael Garraway, said the support from 3 RAR was important.

“These young men and women will provide some welcome relief to the defence force personnel who have been supporting NSW Police along many of the checkpoints on the NSW/Victorian border,” Brigadier Garraway said.

Soldiers will complete initial COVID-19 training at Holsworthy Army Base before deploying to border checkpoints by the end of the week.