The Royal Australian Navy amphibious ship HMAS Choules has returned to Mallacoota, Victoria, to provide more support to the fire-ravaged coastal town from which she evacuated more than a-thousand people just days ago.
After successfully disembarking the evacuated passengers at Western Port, the crew of the HMAS Choules conducted a quick turnaround to return to Mallacoota.
The 2006-built ship arrived at Western Port on January 4 and, once the evacuees were safely disembarked, attention turned to the job of reconstituting and on-loading supplies and equipment to deliver to Mallacoota for the recovery efforts.
Once the ship was reconstituted, the next task was to begin on-loading supplies, equipment and personnel to assist the Mallacoota community that remains isolated and only accessible by sea or air.
“As we return to Mallacoota, much of our focus will be to provide support to various agencies as they seek to clear roads and re-open access to the township by land,” Officer Commanding of Choules’ Ship’s Army Establishment, Major David English, said.
“Being Army members who are part of ship’s company means that we can extend the capability the ship brings in terms of logistics support and ship-to-shore movement of personnel, vehicles and equipment.”
Along with training ship MV Sycamore and landing helicopter dock ship HMAS Adelaide, Choules is part of a significant Royal Australian Navy contribution to the Australian Defence Force’s efforts to support relief efforts for the current bushfire emergency.