Exercise Mackay Ready coming soon

Published: 29 Oct 2021

The Australian Defence Force is stepping up preparations for the coming high risk weather season, staging Exercise Mackay Ready from November 5-7.

The Mackay community can expect to see increased military activity over coming days with a range of vehicles and equipment including Army helicopters, Army personnel and engineering equipment moving in to position.

Exercise Mackay Ready will bring together soldiers from 11 Brigade (Army Reserves Queensland), 3Brigade (Regular Army – Townsville) and 16 Brigade (Army Aviation) to train alongside the Queensland Police Service, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, State Emergency Service and council.

11th Brigade Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Dave Gandy said the exercise scenario is based on a significant weather event that has led to 15-20 locals being stranded and potentially injured in the Ben Mohr National Park.

A Defence aviation-led search and rescue effort will be launched with the SES and combat engineers helping to find and clear access routes.

“We look forward to working and training alongside civilian emergency services to ensure seamless interoperability should a time come when we need to serve the community shoulder to shoulder,” said LTCOL Gandy.

“The Queensland Government has primary responsibility for the protection of life, property and the environment within the state, but where their capacity is exceeded the Queensland Government may seek Commonwealth assistance, including from Defence.

“The Australian Defence Force here in North Queensland stands ready to step up as we’ve done during the Covid-19 pandemic, 2019-20 Australian Bushfires, 2019 Townsville floods, and following Cyclone Yasi in 2011.”