Emergency worker who helped during the 2019-20 bushfires? Take part in a survey about your health and wellbeing.

Assistance from the Australian Defence Force factsheet

As at 20 February 2020

ADF personnel have been working with state and territory authorities since September 2019 in response to Australia’s bushfire crisis and this support will continue for as long as needed.

The bushfire crisis remains the ADF’s primary focus. Around 4,300 ADF personnel are supporting Operation Bushfire Assist. This includes around 1,100 reservists.

ADF support to the bushfire crisis will continue for as long as needed.

International assistance

ADF efforts are also being supported by more than 196 international military representatives.

  • 43 engineers from Indonesian National Armed Forces are supporting operations in the Blue Mountains.
  • 40 Republic of Singapore Air Force members and CH-47 Chinook helicopters have completed final tasking in support to Op BUSHFIRE ASSIST.
  • The Republic of Fiji’ has provided a platoon of 54 engineers, who are working alongside ADF personnel operating out of East Gippsland.
  • 10 United States Air Force members provided two cargo load teams which operated from RAAF Base East Sale. The United States contingent has concluded operations and the final personnel departed Australia on February 16.
  • New Zealand Defence Force previously provided C-130J, engineering support and three NH-90 helicopters which have since redeployed to New Zealand.
  • The Papua New Guinea Defence Force has provided 99 light engineers who are working with JTF 646.

For information go to www.news.defence.gov.au/national/operation-bushfire-assist-2019-2020.

Key facts

  • Around 4,300 Defence boots on the ground
  • 196 international military representatives
  • Ongoing work in Victoria, NSW, ACT, SA & TAS performing immediate tasks

Reserve call out arrangements

A call out of reserves for the bushfire crisis was authorised by the Governor-General on January 4.

ADF support includes full-time and reserve members from the following: 1st, 3rd, 6th, 7th and 17th Sustainment Brigades, and the 2nd Division, specifically the 4th, 5th and 9th Brigades.

The call out, which will involve up to 3000 reservists, began progressively from January 5.

For more information about the call out, visit www.defencereservessupport.gov.au.


Three Joint Task Forces are coordinating the ADF’s effort:

  • JTF 646 Victoria: Based on Army’s 4th Brigade, with support elements from across the ADF. RAAF Base East Sale is the central hub for the Defence response in southern areas.
  • JTF 1110 New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory: Based on Army’s 5th Brigade, with support elements from across the ADF. Holsworthy Barracks is the central hub for the Defence response across NSW and the ACT.
  • JTF 1111 South Australia and Tasmania: Based on Army’s 9th Brigade, with support elements from across the ADF. Keswick Barracks is the central hub for the Defence response across South Australia and Tasmania.

A Two-Star Emergency ADF National Support Coordinator Major General Justin ‘Jake’ Ellwood, DSC has been appointed to work with state and territory authorities to manage the response.