How Aussie troops are helping us get out of lockdown

 

 

Families have been thanked by the chief of the defence force for their support as more than 2200 personnel are now involved in the COVID-19 fight including some who have volunteered for potential vaccine drug trials.

Australian Defence Force chief General Angus Campbell has written to families thanking them for their sacrifice as their loved ones get deployed across the country to boost civilian operations combating coronavirus.

He said these were "extraordinary times" as a state-by-state list of where personnel were serving was released.

"The beginning of 2020 has certainly delivered a number of challenges from bushfires to the current health crisis, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) continues to be a critical component of efforts to keep Australians safe," he said.

 

Current Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell. Picture Kym Smith
Current Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell. Picture Kym Smith

 

He said personnel's parents, partners and children were showing great patience and resilience as COVID-19 continued to be "evolving rapidly and changing our everyday way of life".

"I know much of the strength of our Australian Defence Force is due to the support families selflessly provide - thank you for the service you too give to our nation and its defence."

 

Australian Army soldiers Private Brad Sweeney (front) joins fellow members from the 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, in calling veterans impacted by COVID-19 as part of the 7th Combat Brigade’s Virtual Veteran Visit initiative. Picture: Defence
Australian Army soldiers Private Brad Sweeney (front) joins fellow members from the 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, in calling veterans impacted by COVID-19 as part of the 7th Combat Brigade’s Virtual Veteran Visit initiative. Picture: Defence

 

He words came after an email sent by the ADF surgeon general Sarah Sharkey revealed approval for clinical trials of anti-malaria drug chloroquine had been granted by the ADF's Malaria and Infectious Diseases Institute.

"Well controlled trials are urgently needed given the profound global impacts of this disease," the email reportedly stated.

The drug trial on troops was seen as the ADF's overall whole of government response to the crisis and would be subject to Therapeutic Goods Administration rules for such trials.

It is not known how many ADF healthcare personnel will voluntarily participate for the program but at least 42 are believed to have started already using the drug as part of the trial.

An online ADF learning course for what was required during the COVID-19 crisis has had 52,000 Defence personnel participate with some going on to serve with civilian authorities. This is where the more than 2200 are at:

NSW - 494 PERSONNEL

•420 ADF personnel are supporting state police quarantine and self-isolation directions at Sydney Airport, ports, local hotels and residences.

•34 personnel are involved in planning support and contact tracing teams.

QUEENSLAND - 438 PERSONNEL

•104 ADF personnel are supporting state police with Queensland border controls.

•82 personnel are supporting state police self-isolation compliance checks

•78 personnel are providing support to Queensland Police to protect indigenous communities.

•21 personnel are supporting state police with the reception of international arrivals at airports.

•16 personnel are involved in planning support and contact tracing teams.

 

VICTORIA - 57 PERSONNEL

 

•17 ADF personnel are involved in planning support and contact tracing teams.

•6 personnel are supporting self-isolation compliance checks.

 

Commander Task Group 629.5, Colonel David Hughes, (right) addresses Australian Defence Force personnel and members of the Australian Medical Assistance Team at Burnie Airport before they leave Tasmania following their support to Burnie’s North West Regional Hospital. .
Commander Task Group 629.5, Colonel David Hughes, (right) addresses Australian Defence Force personnel and members of the Australian Medical Assistance Team at Burnie Airport before they leave Tasmania following their support to Burnie’s North West Regional Hospital. .

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA - 253 PERSONNEL

•153 ADF personnel are supporting Western Australia Police Force border controls.

•19 personnel are supporting contact tracing, health support and planning efforts.

South Australia - 36 personnel

•12 ADF personnel are involved in planning support.

TASMANIA - 131 PERSONNEL

•Following a request for assistance from the Tasmanian Government, the ADF will deploy personnel to Tasmania as part of an Australian Medical Assistance Team-led Commonwealth response. 52 ADF personnel are supporting clinical hospital duties in the state's north west.

•35 personnel are involved in contact tracing teams.

•28 personnel are supporting state police quarantine compliance checks.

NORTHERN TERRITORY - 162 PERSONNEL

 

The Secretary of the Department of Social Services Kathryn Campbell and the Commander of the Defence COVID-19 taskforce Lieutenant General John Frewen. Picture: Defence
The Secretary of the Department of Social Services Kathryn Campbell and the Commander of the Defence COVID-19 taskforce Lieutenant General John Frewen. Picture: Defence

 

•63 ADF personnel are providing support to Northern Territory Police to protect indigenous communities

•16 personnel are supporting territory police self-isolation compliance checks

•6 personnel are involved in liaison and contact tracing teams.

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY - 59 PERSONNEL

•10 ADF personnel are involved in planning support and contact tracing teams.

Originally published as How Aussie troops are helping us get out of lockdown

Commander of the Defence COVID-19 Taskforce Assist Lieutenant General John Frewen and the Deputy Secretary of Defence People Group, Justine Greig (third from left), met Defence civilians who have been redeployed to Services Australia in Canberra. Picture: Defence
Commander of the Defence COVID-19 Taskforce Assist Lieutenant General John Frewen and the Deputy Secretary of Defence People Group, Justine Greig (third from left), met Defence civilians who have been redeployed to Services Australia in Canberra. Picture: Defence


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