Already in the thick of it
By Captain Leigh Smith
Signaller Greg Sermon has had a busy six months.
Joining the Army Reserve just 18 months ago, Signaller Sermon, of 109th Signal Squadron, never imagined he would have already served on two operational tasks - and both on home soil.
With the support of his civilian employer and his family, Signaller Sermon - a Ground Operations Manager in the Perth suburb of Wilson - was first deployed to Kangaroo Island, South Australia, as part of Operation Bushfire Assist.
Working with a small team of communication specialists, he conducted radio communications mapping of the island. This helped ensure deployed teams were able to effectively communicate while out on task.
“I was happy to help in any way I could. It was a really rewarding experience and great to see everyone so keen to help the community in whichever way they could,” Signaller Sermon said.
The community was hit hard when fires devastated the island, burning more than 200,000 hectares. With so many fences destroyed and more than 53,000 livestock killed, helping farmers get back on their feet was top priority.
“There was a lot of damage. Driving around the island just seeing everything burnt was surreal. Farmers had lost houses, sheds, fences and livestock and just needed any help they could get,” Signaller Sermon said.
Now a part of Operation COVID-19 Assist, Signaller Sermon is conducting similar radio communications mapping tasks, but this time in his own backyard - across the Perth metro and nearby regional areas.
“It has been a busy year and I am honoured to have had two opportunities to serve my community in their time of need," he said.
"Both operations have been very different, but we are trained for this. We are able to adapt.”
Signaller Greg Sermon, of 109th Signal Squadron, with communications equipment at Irwin Barracks, Karrakatta, as part of Operation COVID-19 Assist.
Last update: Wednesday, 15 July 2020