Home' Air Force News : October 28th 2010 Contents 13
October 28, 2010
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services have exercised with a 36SQN
C-17A for the first time.
Members of the Queensland Fire
and Rescue Service (QFRS) practised
a deployment of their Heavy Urban
Search and Rescue (USAR) equip-
ment and personnel by C-17A from
RAAF Base Amberley on September
22. The exercise came from lessons
learned during the 2009 Padang earth-
quake, when 36SQN deployed mem-
bers of the QFRS's Medium USAR
team to Indonesia.
QFRS had not deployed a USAR
team internationally before, let alone
by Air Force transport, which resulted
in a delay for Air Movements person-
nel at Amberley to determine what
cargo could be transported and to pre-
pare it for air transportation.
The QFRS USAR team is a criti-
cal part of how Australia responds to
disasters across the region.
WOFF Trevor Amos, a loadmaster
with Movement Support Cell at HQ
Air Command, said a long-term solu-
tion commenced last December.
QFRS clear for take off
LOADED UP: WOFF Gary Cooling of 1AOSS with Superintendent Jeff Harper, acting manager of Queensland
Fire Service Special Operations Canon Hill, with one of the many pallets being prepared for movement on a
Main photo: LACW Jessica Smith
"Our main goal was to ensure that
the USAR team could deploy rapidly
by Air Force air transport," he said.
"The USAR team also has to be
able to deploy via civilian air trans-
port. We liaised with Qantas, Virgin
Blue, and CASA to ensure that the
QLD USAR equipment met all the
civilian air transport requirements.
"It was also a matter of review-
ing their equipment including danger-
ous goods, and ensuring compliance
with Air Force safe carriage of cargo,"
WOFF Amos said.
Movement support has therefore
created an Authorisation for a list
of QFRS equipment which is pre-
approved for transport, allowing
minimal checks by Air Movements
before it goes on the aircraft.
Similar plans are made with
elected Army units, but the QFRS
SAR team is unique in being the
rst non-Defence team which has
uch an arrangement.
"As this was the first time that
e were to give a non-ADF unit an
uthorisation, we had to ensure that
re were additional safeguards in
place," WOFF Amos said.
Rescue equipment like cutting
tools and generators are vital for
QFRS work, but can be classified as
To fly with 36SQN, two load tri-
als were conducted before the exer-
cise on September 22, ensuring that
a 'Heavy' team of 72 personnel and
their equipment could fit on one
C-17A. The USAR team reviewed
and changed some of their equipment
to achieve this result.
QFRS members gained a better
understanding of the capability of the
C-17A, allowing them to prioritise
what cargo to take according to their
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