ADF welcomed in COVID effort

NSW Police Constable Megan Green and Seaman Jordan Parsons hand out sunscreen to civillians waiting in line for a Covid-19 test at the Wattle Grove Community Centre in Sydney. Photo: Corporal Dustin Anderson

ADF welcomed in COVID effort

ADF personnel say they’ve received a warm welcome from members of the public as they support NSW Government efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The State Government last week requested the support of an extra 300 personnel on top of the 250 who were assisting at the airport and on hotel quarantine programs.

Private Jordan Sayers, who is about to join the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, was one of the first to join the new effort.

“It feels good to be part of Operation COVID-19 Assist and to be able to help the community,” Private Sayers said.

“Everyone has been very friendly, we’ve had a few people come up and thank us for being here.”

Seaman Jordan Parsons, from HMAS Kuttabul, is assisting police and health officers at a COVID testing clinic.

“This is the second time I’ve worked on the operation,” Seaman Parsons said.

“Earlier this year, I helped out with international flight arrivals at Darwin and at the Howard Springs quarantine facility. 

“I’m glad I can do my bit to help the community.”

The additional soldiers, sailors and aviators on Operation COVID-19 Assist in NSW are carrying out a range of tasks, including delivering food parcels, assisting police with welfare and compliance checks, helping set up vaccination stations and providing contact tracing support. 

Commander of the operation, Colonel Warwick Young, said the members had appreciated the welcome shown by the community.

“This is a critical time in the fight against the coronavirus and we are pleased that we can play a role in helping stop the spread and getting our community back on its feet,” Colonel Young said.

“We have no enforcement powers, but we will be here to support police and other state authorities do their jobs for as long as they need us, like we have done during the bushfires, the floods and through the pandemic.”

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