A Repatriation Ceremony for Senior Master Sergeant Rick DeMorgan was held at RAAF Base Richmond on Saturday, February 8.
SMSgt DeMorgan, an employee of Coulson Aviation and member of the United States Air Force, was tragically killed on January 23 while serving as a flight engineer on a C-130 Large Air Tanker which crashed near Cooma, New South Wales, while combating bushfires.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of the United States Embassy and Consulate, New South Wales Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue New South Wales, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Australian Defence Force, and contracted aerial firefighting companies.
Operation Bushfire Assist 19-20 is the Australian Defence Force's (ADF) support to the national Bushfire emergency. The ADF established three Joint Task Forces under Operation Bushfire Assist to facilitate ADF support to emergency services in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
The ADF is working alongside government agencies to coordinate and ensure Defence assets are deployed to communities where they are needed. The ADF is providing air and ground transport, route clearance, logistics, engineering, aviation support and accommodation support to the firefighting and recovery effort.
International partners have also contributed to the response effort with personnel from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, New Zealand, Singapore and Japan operating alongside their Australia counterparts to assist during this emergency.