Horsham army reservists Gerard Emmett and Leonidas Shawkey have been deployed to Melbourne to deliver supplies for the Australian Defence Force on the COVID-19 frontline.
The Australian army drivers, from 2nd Force Support Battalion, will support Operation COVID-19 Assist with their roles as drivers in the Royal Australian Transport Corps.
For Private Emmett, this is the second time he has been asked to provide assistance, only months after he finished supporting his community during Operation Bushfire Assist.
"Our role is important because we are getting vital supplies to ADF personnel on the frontline," Private Emmett said.
"Giving something back to local communities and helping them out as best as we can is a good feeling."
In his civilian role, Private Emmett works as a courier and loves driving trucks, which he does for both jobs.
"What I am doing in my reserve role is similar to my civilian job as a courier in Horsham, except in the ADF I get to go off-road," Private Emmett said.
Australian Defence Force medical personnel are supporting the Victorian Government's enhanced COVID-19 testing regime at multiple locations around Melbourne.
This support has come at the Victorian Government's request, following a significant increase in Coronavirus cases in the city.
For Private Shawkey, Operation COVID-19 Assist is his first operation. He plans on volunteering for as long as the operation lasts.
"I drive to and from areas, delivering stores and equipment, whatever the ADF needs," Private Shawkey said.
"Delivering supplies is a crucial part. Without us, the stores don't get moved, and people don't get what they need."
Private Shawkey's civilian job as a driver has prepared him for the operation's tasks.
"My civilian skills involve working with people, so talking with people is something I enjoy," he said.
"I think this has transferred over to my reservist job.
"Part of the job is being on the road, in the public eye so being able to deal with people is crucial."
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