Three helicopters from HMAS Albatross are ready to offer help with Tropical Cyclone Debbie as part of Operation Queensland Assist.
Two of the MRH90 helicopters from 808 Squadron at HMAS Albatross have flown to Oakey, Queensland, while the other aircraft has been tasked to HMAS Choules which sailed for northern Queensland waters on Monday.
The amphibious ship will offer support of communities which may be affected by the cyclone, leaving Sydney on Monday as part of broader Australian Defence Force support to Queensland emergency services responding to the cyclone, which is expected to make landfall Tuesday morning.
The multi-role helicopters will supplement existing army and air force aircraft already in Townsville and air force aircraft in Amberley and Darwin.
Army personnel and equipment are also on standby.
Defence supports emergencies with aeromedical evacuation, search and rescue, road clearance, restoration of essential services, emergency accommodation and the delivery of stores.
Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin said defence was prepared and ready to respond with immediate assistance to local communities within the storm zone in coordination with state and local disaster management authorities.
“ADF personnel are highly trained, well equipped and experienced in providing assistance to Australian communities affected by natural disasters,” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.
“We are ready and able to respond to this emergency in support of civilian emergency authorities and the residents of north eastern Queensland once the full impact of Debbie is known.”
He said HMAS Choules was heading to Queensland to be ready to support recovery efforts if required.
The navy is on standby for such tasking during the cyclone season with a duty humanitarian assistance and disaster relief ship.