19 Januari 2011
HMAS Huon, the minehunter vessel of RAN (photo : RAN)
A Coastal Mine Hunter, HMAS Huon has commenced operations in Moreton Bay today as part of Operation Queensland Flood Assist. Fitted with sophisticated sonar equipment the ship will search for debris that poses a navigational hazard to shipping in Moreton Bay and the Brisbane River.
The mission, as requested by Emergency Management Queensland will be directed by a Maritime Task Group, established at Bulimba Barracks. Commander Maritime Task Group Commander Pete Tedman said proving the main shipping channels are clear of obstructions from the floods ultimately allows the recovery effort to proceed faster, rebuilding to accelerate, and restores vital economic activity for all of Queensland.
“Our mission is to assist in making Moreton Bay safe for shipping. It is a large task and will take considerable time but our men and women are well trained to achieve it,” he said.
“The opportunity for Naval personnel to help out their fellow Australians will be rewarding professionally and personally, and we remain committed to completing all tasks requested by Emergency Management Queensland,” Commander Tedman said.
The Task Group includes headquarters personnel, Clearance Divers, a Deployable Geospatial Team and three Navy Fleet units: HMAS Huon and two Hydrographic Survey Motor Launches, HMA Ships Paluma and Shepparton arriving later today.
HMAS Shepparton, hydrographic survey ship (photo : RAN)
Defence continues to operate closely with and in support of, Queensland Emergency Services to provide personnel on the ground, subject matter expertise, planning, and coordination of ADF helicopters and aircraft as part of the response and as we move to restoration and recovery operations.
As part of Operation Queensland Flood Assist, ADF personnel have been undertaking a multitude of tasks including clearance of rubbish and assistance in road closures. The ADF commitment to Operation Queensland Flood Assist currently consists of about 1600 personnel spread between Brisbane, Rockhampton, Townsville, Amberley, Ipswich, Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley, Theodore and St George.