1000 troops on the ground for flood support
THE Australian Defence Force has more than 1000 troops on the ground helping support people throughout Townsville during an unprecedented flood event.
Joint Australian Defence Force Taskforce 658 Commander Brigadier Scott Winter said everyone was helping out.
"We've got about 500 people out amongst the community at the moment and about 600 to 700 back on barracks doing things like filling sandbags, looking after some sandbags and main sure we have enough redundancy so we can keep these going for the next few days," he said.
"We are in this for the long haul, I think everyone is noticing that the rain hasn't quite gone away yet.
"All of the ADF units that we've got in the north are absolutely fully engaged in bringing all these capabilities to what is an incredible team here in Townsville."
Brig Winter said it added some comfort for people when they saw soldiers walking down the street to help out.
He said the ADF had been involved in numerous rescues throughout flooded
"We have a number of vehicles and troops out in support of the police for some of those inextrimus recovery activities to help with the evacuations," Brig Winter said.
"We have troops out delivering sandbags (who are) very quickly able to transition to doorknock activities if there is messaging that's required."
A number of the ADF's assets are being deployed in situations they were not necessarily designed for.
"Most of them (our assets) are pretty tried and proven but we are using them in a novel way and they're certainly being used in a way that they have not been used before," Brig Winter said.
The ADF also has helicopters in the air to support emergency services.
Whether the rain and flooding eases off or not, Brig Winter said Defence would be there to help with the cleanup and recovery.