Navy moves inland

A sailor assists NSW Police at a border control point on the Princes Highway South of Eden.

Navy moves inland

Navy personnel from multiple ships are working together to support NSW Police at vehicle check points as part of Operation COVID-19 Assist. 

In early July, members from bases HMAS Albatross, Creswell, Watson and Waterhen, Fleet Support Unit-East and HMA Ships Adelaide and Parramatta, and NUSHIP Supply, formed a 125-strong team within Joint Task Force 629.

The Navy contingent was assigned to an area extending from the Snowy Mountains town of Jindabyne, to Eden on the NSW East Coast, covering 130km along the border.

Teams across the region commenced round-the-clock operations on border crossings days after closures were announced, assisting NSW Police teams in monitoring compliance of those crossing the border.

Personnel on check points worked an eight-hour shift, similar to police rotations. 

Able Seaman Ty Backhouse, from Waterhen, said he had enjoyed getting to know and work with NSW Police.

“They are learning as much about us as we are of them,” Able Seaman Backhouse said. 

“We’ve seen great support from the local communities, thanking us for our efforts and some delivering home-made cakes to the check point.” 

Members of the task group will begin returning home to their families and regular workplaces in coming weeks.

They will be relieved by a second rotation as the Navy and wider ADF continue their support of local communities, state emergency services and the Australian Government in the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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