Since the end of March, Navy has been contributing to Headquarters Joint Task Force 629 (HJTF629) as part of the contribution to the whole-of-government response to COVID-19. 

Twenty eight personnel ranging in rank from seaman to commodore, are assigned to the task force. Their skills and experience are filling crucial roles in operations, personnel, logistics, intelligence, health and gender advice. 

Deputy Commander of HJTF629 Commodore Paul O’Grady said Navy should be proud of its people and their role in this important operation.

“They are fulfilling key positions throughout the taskforce headquarters and making significant contributions to the national effort fighting COVID-19,” Commodore O’Grady said.

Maritime Personnel Operator Seaman Jess Gould is working in the headquarters’ personnel office, undertaking the processing of incidentals, mounting and demounting forms and health declarations.

“I joined the Navy for a challenge and since working here it has shown me how different it is working in a triservice environment,” Seaman Gould said.

“I feel I’m contributing towards the greater good and strongly feel that what I do here has an impact on how the joint task groups on the ground do their work, which directly effects the public - it’s a great feeling.”

Lieutenant Green is an operational planner and was involved in the Defence Force’s response to help Tasmanian Health. She is also benefiting from the joint environment. 

“It is good to see how other services do things differently. I feel like I have learnt a lot from this operation,” Lieutenant Green said.

“In this role I focus on planning tasks that appear in the next two to seven days.

“Helping the medical team travel to and operate from the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie was a real highlight.”

Navy’s commitment to helping the community during the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing and is an example of the service’s ability to work effectively in a joint team.