Two CH-47 Chinooks left Townsville RAAF Base to relieve previous crews down south helping with the Australian Bushfires. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Two CH-47 Chinooks left Townsville RAAF Base to relieve previous crews down south helping with the Australian Bushfires. Picture: Alix Sweeney

More bushfire relief takes flight from NQ

NORTH Queensland reinforcements have departed Townsville to give relief to people battling the devastating fires affecting huge parts of Australia.

Yesterday, two CH-47 Chinooks along with 21 personnel left Townsville's RAAF Base to replace two of the four Chinook helicopters as part of Operation Bushfire Assist.

The operation has provided civil support and supplies for communities in NSW, Victoria and South Australia affected by the bushfire crisis.

The departure of the Chinooks allows required maintenance to be carried out on two of the Chinooks that were deployed earlier this month.

Officer Commanding Technical Support Squadron 5th Aviation Regiment Major Krystal Wright said the recall would allow "deeper level maintenance" on the original craft.

"Instead of having them offload for tasking for four to six weeks in the fire-affected areas, we will bring them back up here and perform that maintenance and rotate those aircraft out," she said.

Chaplain to the 5th Aviation Regiment and wildlife veterinarian Louis Clun said the local defence response to the bushfire emergency had been "phenomenal".

"The whole team, rescue crews, pilots and maintainers, I've never seen such an upbeat group … they want to do everything to help including brining in supplies and rescuing people."


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