The Australian Defence Force (ADF) commenced Operation Flood Assist 23-1 on 6 January 2023 to provide assistance to the Western Australian Government in the Kimberley region where heavy rainfall from Ex Tropical Cyclone Ellie has isolated communities.
Following a request from the Western Australian Government (through the National Emergency Management Agency) Defence, as part of the Commonwealth response, is providing three Royal Australian Air Force transport aircraft. These assets consist of one C-130J Hercules and two C-27J Spartan aircraft.
On 7 January, five Australian Army helicopters, including three MRH-90 Taipan and two CH-47 Chinooks, departed Townsville, Queensland for the Kimberley region and are due to commence operations no later than 12 January 2023. From 10 January, Defence will also provide 30 general duties personnel to assist with planning, initial clean-up, damage assessments and emergency resupply.
To date, the ADF has assisted in relocating flood affected persons within and from the Kimberley region, delivered urgent food and medical supplies, and transported emergency services personnel into the region. Defence continues to work closely with NEMA in monitoring disasters affecting the community.