Darwin, NT, Aus. --
The service members worked together to clear tree branches and debris from roadways and sidewalks that were obstructed by the wreckage the cyclone caused on Larrekeyah Defence Precinct and Robertson Barracks .
Service members also ventured off base to help residents of Darwin and Palmerston clear roads and footpaths surrounding communities so that children and residents could walk to their respective education centers and places of work without harmful debris obstructing their way.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to give back to the community, especially in a time like right now,” said Lt. Col. Travis Gordon, commanding officer of the 5th battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. “The people around Darwin and Palmerston are our neighbors and our friends.”
“The community has been a very gracious host the entire time we’ve been here,” said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. George Forbes, commanding officer of the Ground Equipment Staging Program detachment, a logistical unit under the Forward Coordination Element. “What little bit we can do is a tangible demonstration of the U.S.’ commitment to the U.S. and Australian alliance so we love to give back to the local community [when we are able to].”
According to the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology, Tropical Cyclone Marcus passed through Darwin as a Category 2 system and sustained winds up to about 95km/h (59mp/h) with gusts reaching speeds up to nearly 130km/h (80mp/h). The cyclone moved westward away from the northwestern coast of Australia.