Andrei Ezergailis

Andrei EzergailisAndrei spent nearly 24 years in the Royal Australian Navy as a Weapons Electrical Engineering Officer on Submarines, before joining ASC in August 2017 to lead ASC’s Asset Management efforts.


Recently, the news that set fingertips tingly, the silver lining around the orange, smoke-haze cloud that hangs over our head, is that some of our biggest defence assets have been called in to help with the action.The bushfires currently ravaging Australia will come as no surprise to readers. Since September in NSW, and December in Victoria and South Australia, bushfires have claimed lives and homes, razed through our flora and fauna, livestock and lifestyles.

Families holidaying have been left stranded on the beach. It is truly devastating to see destruction on such an enormous scale. Mostly, the population unaffected by the fires feel hopeless; opening the wallet to donate to organisations assisting it the best path to offering help. But the fires still burn. We are still in the heart of our Australian summer, so we’re a long way off being able to breathe with relief, and freely.

HMAS Adelaide has been deployed to provide assistance to the areas most affected by the bushfires. The ship is fully equipped for disaster and humanitarian aid. Adelaide has an enormous array of facilities on board, all of which prove integral in such a disaster. On board is a medical facility, and accommodation for 1100 troops. On its deck, the ship can launch helicopters, and can carry over 100 vehicles, as well as smaller boats required to get them onshore. Most importantly, the ship has extensive command and communication capabilities, necessary to coordinate relief and evacuation operations1.

Around 3000 Army reserve personnel are being called upon to assist in quelling the bushfire and its destruction. It has been said by our defence minister, Senator Linda Reynolds, that reservists will be in place until no longer needed. Defence force bases in Brisbane and Adelaide will provide temporary accommodation to those who’ve lost homes and property2.

All this is good news at a time in Australia when something positive is sorely needed. Let’s hope that together, our firies, volunteers, defence personnel, and the monies donated, can all bring an abrupt end to razing of our beautiful nation.

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