efforts earn plaudits
from No. 86 Wing RAAF Base Richmond operated above and beyond
their normal peacetime commitments providing support to the recent
tragedy in Bali.
Leading Aircraftwoman Hayley Edwards, Flying Officer Kim
Davey, Squadron Leader Steve Cook and an unidentified paramedic
assist a Bali blast victim transported to Melbourne last
Wednesday for treatment. Photo by SGT Troy Rogers
and 3CSH personnel return to RAAF Base Richmond from Bali-Darwin
medivac shuttles last Wednesday.
Photo by LAC Col Dadd
Wing Commander Don Sutherland, Senior Operations Officer at No.
86 Wing, said a request for C130 support came early Sunday morning
and all personnel worked full on for the next four days.
Aircrew, maintenance and support personnel pulled together
to ensure all C130s, including a New Zealand Air Force C130, involved
were fully serviceable and appropriate resources were made available
to ensure the success of the operation, WGCDR Sutherland said.
No. 86 Wing Operations acted as the liaison between Air Command
and the tasking of aircraft and aircrew to provide continuous 24-hour
support during Operation Bali Assist.
The ability of No. 36 and No. 37 Squadron to deploy five aircraft,
12 crews, maintenance and operational support personnel at short
notice was a credit to all those involved.
About 105 personnel deployed to Darwin in support of the humanitarian
operation. This included six crews from 36SQN and 37SQN, 30 maintenance
staff, Logisticians and Operations Officers.
Im very proud of what weve achieved, in particular
efforts made by the crews of 36SQN and 37SQN, the Aero- Medical
Evacuation teams and Air Movements Staff who worked non-stop from
early Sunday morning, WGCDR Sutherland said. All teams
worked together with the single focus of providing the best support
to the victims of this tragedy.
Sixty-six seriously injured patients were transported from Bali
to major medical facilities in Darwin. Thirty-eight were later flown
to other Australian capital cities.
C130s also airlifted urgent medical supplies, Australian officials
and family members to and from Bali.
Additionally, five refrigerated units weighing a total of 10.5 tonnes
were in flown from Darwin to Bali on a C130J. They were used to
store the bodies of victims killed in the terrorist attack.
Commander Air Lift Group Air Commodore Greg Evans described the
tragedy as the worst the unit has had to respond to.
This is a scale of mayhem weve never seen before and
a tragedy distinguished by horrific injuries to so many young people,
AIRCDRE Evans said.
The C130 crews, C130s and medical staff from No. 3 Combat
Support Hospital at Richmond performed exceptionally well in difficult
Also, No. 86 Wing Operations staff deployed personnel to Darwin
for extra support and worked non-stop for three days a superhuman
effort. I take my hat off to all those involved.