Background Information on SCDF Operation Lionheart Contingent
SCDF maintains a search and rescue contingent on a 24-hour standby under the codename Operation Lionheart to provide humanitarian assistance and support to countries affected by natural disasters. Since its formation in 1990, the Operation Lionheart contingent
has responded to 18 overseas missions. The deployment to New South Wales is the 19th overseas mission.
Update on 16/11/2022
A 16-member SCDF contingent departed for New South Wales, Australia at about 9:00 p.m. today.
The contingent, led by LTC Lok Wee Keong, the commander of SCDF’s elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART), was deployed in support of the flood rescue efforts being conducted by the Fire and Rescue New South Wales.
Supporting LTC Lok are DART officers LTA Sabree Dusuki and LTA Ahmad Faizal, who each have more than 25 years of operational experience in DART. The contingent is also augmented by an operations support officer and 12 DART officers with advanced lifesaver skills, powered pleasure craft driving license, and advanced diver and rescue diver certifications.
The SCDF contingent was sent off by Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development.
We would like to thank Singapore Airlines for facilitating the flight arrangements on short notice.
Update on 17/11/2022
The SCDF contingent arrived safely at Sydney Airport at about 7:40 a.m. this morning.
The SCDF Operation Lionheart team was received by The Hon. (Steph) Stephanie Anne Cooke, Member of the Legislative Assembly, Member for Cootamundra, Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience, Minister for Flood Recovery and Member of The Nationals
for New South Wales (NSW), together with Comr Paul Baxter, Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW and Deputy Commissioner Damien Johnston, Chief of the NSW SES.
A press conference was held at about 8:40 a.m. where LTC Lok Wee Keong, the commander of SCDF’s elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) updated on the team’s composition of officers and their respective competencies.
Discussion with the local authorities are underway for the deployment of SCDF’s DART in support of the flood rescue efforts being conducted by the by the Fire and Rescue NSW.
Update on 18/11/2022
The 16-member Operation Lionheart (OLH) contingent arrived at New South Wales (NSW) yesterday and attended a pre-operations briefing at the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) Bankstown Unit where they were given an update of the flood situation by NSW SES officers.
The contingent members were also given a quick familiarisation on the various equipment used by our counterparts at the NSW SES, such as the Inflatable Rescue Boat and the Reach and Rescue Pole.
Later today, the OLH contingent will be split into two 7-member teams. The teams will be travelling to Parkes Town and Wagga Wagga City respectively, to prepare for search and rescue operations scheduled to commence on Saturday, 19 November 2022.
LTC Lok Wee Keong, the Commander of SCDF’s elite Disaster Assistance, and CPT Tan Chun Hui, Operation Support Officer, will be travelling to NSW SES Headquarters at Wollongong city where they will work with their counterparts NSW SES officers to oversee and coordinate the search and rescue operations at both flood sites.
We wish our OLH contingent the best in their upcoming mission. Stay tuned for further updates on the OLH operations in the next few days.
Click here to view photos on SCDF's Facebook page.
Update on 19/11/2022
Yesterday evening, the OLH contingent, which was split into two teams i.e. Team A and Team B, arrived at Parkes town and Wagga Wagga city respectively.
Earlier today (19 November), Team A commenced search operations at Forbes town, which is about 30km away from Parkes town. The team rendered assistance to electricians who were working in a flooded area to reinstate power supply at a power station. Following operations at Forbes town, Team A will be proceeding to Condobolin town for their next deployment.
Team B in Wagga Wagga city is on standby for activation as the situation there is dynamic, with an incoming storm anticipated. While on standby, the team practised their lifesaving and boat handling techniques at the nearby Wiradjuri Reserve.
Update on 21/11/2022
The OLH Contingent Team A arrived at Condobolin town yesterday, 20 November 2022. After being briefed on the flood situation, the team was deployed to the sand banks near the river and lake to assist in setting up flood barriers to reduce floodwater damage to the local communities.
Working closely with officers from the Australian Defence Force, Team A continued with their flood barrier operation today, 21 November 2022, at Condobolin town.
Team B in Wagga Wagga city was redeployed to Deniliquin town earlier today. The team was deployed to assist in securing a hazardous debris (shipping container) that was drifting dangerously in the floodwaters. Working together with officers from NSW SES and Fire and Rescue NSW, the team did a quick assessment of the water conditions and managed to safely secure the shipping container to a concrete structure, and prevent it from drifting further into the main water stream.
Team B was also subsequently deployed to deliver flood protection supplies to residences in the community, and assisted to set up flood protection for some of the residences together with the officers from the NSW Rural Fire Service.
Team A will be proceeding back to Parkes town while Team B will be stationed at Deniliquin town to provide further assistance as major flooding is expected in the area.