Home' Air Force News : February 3rd 2011 Contents Supporting Australia s veterans,
peacekeepers and their families
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members of the Defence Force community and their families, and F-111 Fuel Tank Maintenance
workers and their partners and immediate family members. VVCS is a specialised, free and
confidential Australia-wide service.
VVCS can provide you with:
• Individual, couple and family counselling including case management services
• After-hours crisis telephone counselling via Veterans Line
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• Information, self-help resources and referrals to other services.
We can help you work through issues such as stress, relationship, family problems and other
lifestyle issues as well as emotional or psychological issues associated with your military service.
If you need support or would like more
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Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service
A service founded by Vietnam veterans
February 3, 2011
THE flood crisis gave personnel of 1
Airfield Operations Support Squadron
a relentless start to 2011.
Key among these has been Air
Movements Section (AMS) for RAAF
Base Amberley. From December 31 to
January 19, it coordinated 201 passen-
gers and dispatched 1,000,383 pounds
of cargo for Operation Queensland
The section supported 43 sepa-
rate flights and 14 different missions,
some of which were accomplished
without power, utilities or external
In late December, it was appar-
ent that AMS Amberley would have a
key role to play in the coming weeks
as parts of central Queensland were
affected by severe flooding.
On December 31, the section load-
ed equipment from the Queensland
Fire and Rescue Service on to a
37SQN C-130J bound for Emerald.
In the weeks that followed, AMS
Amberley dispatched loads that
included groceries, fuel bladders,
forklifts, and their own personnel, out
into the Queensland community.
Air Load Teams (ALTs) from
Amberley moved forward with the
aircraft to assist operations in Mackay,
St George, Roma, Charleville and
Bundaberg. At civilian airfields, they
helped unload cargo delivered by
C-130s. Separate ALTs from RAAF
Base Richmond went to Roma and
was to get
in, get it
and do it
it was the
PUSH: FLGOFF Alex Garner puts his
shoulder into it as he helps load groceries on
to a C-17A at RAAF Base Richmond.
Photo: LACW Casey Gaul
FLGOFF Gabrielle Cook, acting
OIC of AMS Amberley during the
operation, said the response to the
ALTs from the locals was all positive.
"As soon as an aircraft landed, the
locals were all out there helping out,
providing whatever they could, wheth-
er it was manual labour or forklifts,"
FLGOFF Cook said.
Meanwhile, at AMS Amberley,
personnel worked in 12-hour shifts to
ensure around-the-clock operation.
"One night we had people stay on
base in the event we were cut off, and
eventually we were running without
power, outside communication and
toilets," FLGOFF Cook said.
"The duty phones were the only
communication -- most people's own
mobile phones weren't working. There
were those obstacles but the general
response from the section was to get
in, get it done, go home, and come
back and do it again.
"The attitude from the section was
that 'People in the community had lost
their properties, livelihoods and loved
ones, so it was the least we could do'."
Utilities have been restored to
AMS Amberley, which still finds itself
busy sustaining the Government's
response to the disaster.
These loads have included Army,
Navy and NSW Police personnel
involved in the clean-up operation.
AMS Richmond was likewise
confronted with a relentless work-
At 2am on January 13, the first
of 18 semi-trailers carrying groceries
from the Australian National Retail
Association arrived at Richmond.
They were to be flown out by
36SQN C-17As the following day to
RAAF Base Townsville, where they
could be packed on trucks and distrib-
uted to flood-affected communities.
OIC of AMS Richmond FLTLT
Ben Barber said: "We just ran our
section 24 hours a day until the job
The first C-17A departed
Richmond just nine hours after the
first semi-trailer arrived, carrying 65
tonnes of groceries.
On January 14, two C-17As
returned to Richmond to pick up the
remaining groceries -- all up, 60 pal-
lets going through Richmond Air
The C-17As returned to Amberley
that afternoon to fly out even more
groceries. Receiving these groceries
were members of AMS at Townsville.
FLTLT Emma Brown, OIC of
AMS Townsville, said her unit was
glad to work on the relief tasking.
They unpacked and dispatched 96
pallets of groceries -- enough to fill
"Representatives of Woolworths,
Coles and IGA were all present for
the first loads, and were obviously
pretty happy with our efforts," FLTLT
"Being in Townsville we haven't
been able to directly support many of
the towns in need, so any opportunity
they got to help was eagerly met by
Responding in kind, AMS
Townsville found themselves bus-
ily preparing loads for the trip south.
Working with Army on January 13,
they conducted the first ever loading
of two Light Amphibious Resupply
Cargo vehicles on a pair of RAAF
C-17As bound for Amberley.
The C-17A flight to Amberley
also moved equipment for the
clean-up effort, with additional
Bobcat skid-steer loaders being
brought down from 1AOSS Airfield
Engineering section in Townsville,
to assist the clean-up activities in the
STRAP IT DOWN: At
RAAF Base Amberley
AC Simon Bennet
tightens straps on
cargo loaded on a
destined for flood-
stricken areas of
Photo: LACW Jessica Smith
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