School of Armour supports relief efforts
Originally published in Army News.
Captain Aaron Cimbaljevic, of the School of Armour, said 36 members of the support squadron, including cavalry, tank, transport and mechanical specialists deployed to Numurkah on March 3.
“We supported VicPol, SES [State Emergency Service] and CFA [Country Fire Authority] in carrying out flood prevention tasks, sandbagging, and hardening previously established flood prevention measures,” he said.
“We also carried out evacuations of sick, elderly and disabled people from Numurkah Hospital.
“At Nathalia we sandbagged 700 metres along an artificial levee made from aluminium sheeting, and outside the levee we sandbagged the local abattoirs and football ground.
“We provided a critical capability with two Mogs, a Mack and a Merlo – we used the Merlo to move pallets of sandbags.”
Captain Cimbaljevic said the local communities were appreciative of the Army’s efforts.
“We didn’t have to crack open a ration pack as the locals and SES provided all the ‘fuel’ the platoon needed to put in the hard yards sandbagging,” he said.
“The Numurkah RSL Sub- Branch provided accommodation for us after we had to evacuate from the Moira Shire Council building.” Lance Corporal Daniel Wilce, a crew commander with Cavalry Troop, and a former reservist from Shepparton’s 8/7 RVR, said he was happy to be back in his home area helping out.
“Our work was very much appreciated and the SES, with their local knowledge, made the best use of our time,” he said.
“We never went hungry because local ladies were bringing us salad rolls and home-made biscuits all the time.” Lance Corporal Wilce said they filled around 10,000 sandbags while they were there.
“Nathalia just didn’t have enough manpower until we got there,” he said.
Mr Neville Garland, CFA Sector Commander at Nathalia, said it was great having the Army back to help.
“I have fond memories of Vietnam veterans from Puckapunyal coming up to save our town in the 1974 floods.”
The School of Armour contingent handed over flood relief operations to the 4th Brigade on March 6.