Getting home to Youngin time for Christmas is what one digger, currently in the Philippines helping with a disaster relief operation, is looking forward to.
Getting home to Townsville in time for Christmas is what one digger, currently in the Philippines helping with a disaster relief operation, is looking forward to.
Sapper Adam ‘Tiny’ Tierney, is part Operation Philippines Assist, which is the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) response to Typhoon Haiyan.
Adam, 25, is an engineer with the Townsville-based 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment, which deployed to Ormoc province on November 28 to clean up and repair the devastation caused by the typhoon.
“I am looking forward to getting home for Christmas,” he said.
Waiting at home in Young for Adam are his parents, Ian and Anne Tierney, while his wife Ammie, and two-year old son Connor, are waiting at the family home in Townsville.
Adam is expected to arrive in Australia by C-130J ‘Hercules’ military aircraft on December 20.
The proud soldier said he has many stories to tell his loved ones about his experiences in the Philippines, which marks his first deployment since he joined the Army in February.
Adam said the past four weeks have been an eye-opener on the Army’s capabilities in disaster relief operations.
“Knowing that we are cleaning up schools to help kids to continue their education gives us a real sense of accomplishment,” he said.
“One of the highlights of our day is when the typhoon victims express their thanks for our help by waving to us as we drive through the streets.”
The Australian Army engineers and sailors from the Navy’s heavy-lift ship, HMAS Tobruk, cleaned up and repaired 16 schools over the duration of the operation, allowing 15,500 students to return to classes.
Commander of the joint task force Lieutenant Colonel Rod Lang said the Army engineers and HMAS Tobruk’s crew had achieved their mission to help with the Philippines’ recovery.
“Key infrastructure, such as schools, hospitals and power, are gradually being restored which are all key indications the time has come for our military forces to begin to return home,” he said.