Cleaning instructions - Personal equipment

Australian Defence Force deployments pose a biosecurity risk to Australia through the movement of contaminated vehicles, machinery, equipment and personal items providing a route for the entry of exotic pests and disease. The following information provides guidance on Australian biosecurity requirements associated with Australian Defence Force personnel returning to Australia from an overseas mission.

All personnel equipment will be inspected by biosecurity officers either prior to departure or on entry into Australia. Should contamination be detected on inspection of any item, further cleaning will be required. Returning Australian Defence Force personnel are required to ensure all items of clothing and equipment are clean and free of seed, plant material, soil, insects and animals, as detailed in the list below.

Clothing

Clothing, which includes under garments, hats, socks and any scarf type item, is to be cleaned of all soil, seed​s and plant material. All pockets should be unzipped/fastened and turned inside out if possible to remove all debris.

Footwear

All types of footwear are to be cleaned, removing all soil, animal and plant material. If required, scrub the items with soap and water, and allow the item to dry. Laces are to be removed from the footwear and all straps, velcro, zip, or fast lace systems are to be thoroughly cleaned. Particular attention is to be paid to the area of the footwear around the tongue and fastening system where there is a fold in the footwear material that can allow plant, soil and insect material to collect.

Knives, bayonets and blades

Includes knives, bayonets, entrenching tools, machete and universal tools (Leatherman, Gerbar). Carry pouches for these items are to be cleaned as well as field packs and webbing. Knives, bayonets, entrenching tools and universal tools are to be cleaned of all soil, plant and insect material and can then be lightly oiled.

Webbing and packs

All webbing and packs are to be disassembled and all pockets and apertures are to be opened, turned inside out and cleaned. Most webbing and packs may be subject to a ‘wipe clean’, however, items that have soil embedded in them are to be scrubbed with a brush and water to remove the soil and allowed to air dry. Attention should be paid to pouch fasteners, belt clips, buckles and velcro fastenings to ensure that no soil, plant, or insect debris is caught in these areas. Belts are to be disassembled including pad belts to ensure all possible areas of contamination are inspected and cleaned. Water bottle pouches are particularly susceptible to seed and plant material becoming embedded in the lining and should be thoroughly checked to ensure all contamination is removed.

Trunks

Plastic trunks are to be subject to a wash down to remove all soil, plant and insect matter. Metal trunks are subject to the same cleaning process as plastic trunks, with particular attention to the metal lips on the ends of the trunk, locks, and under the rubber seal inside the lid.

Bags: Echelon, diver’s, equipment (duffle bags)

Echelon bags are to be turned inside out and all soil, plant and insect debris removed. The bag is subject to a ‘wipe clean’, however, if there is soil embedded in the fabric they are to be scrubbed with a brush and water to remove the soil and allowed to air dry.

Helmets

Remove cam and/or cloth covers and wash in hot water. Ensure inside lining, headband and chinstraps are clean and free of any soil, plant and insect matter.

Scrub helmet with a brush and water if contaminated with embedded soil. Check all velcro straps to ensure that all plant and seed material is removed.

Cloth hats and caps

Wash cloth hats and caps with hot water and remove all soil, plant and insect matter.

Gloves

Gloves are particularly susceptible to soil and plant contamination. Gloves are to be scrubbed with water and a brush.

Sleeping materials

Ensure sleeping bags are clean and free of any soil, plant and insect matter. Sleeping bags must be turned inside out to ensure no soil, plant, insect matter, or animals are trapped inside.  Sleeping bags, liners and other sleeping materials are to be washed using hot water.

Stretchers

Prior to inspection, remove canvas/cloth from wooden or aluminium poles and braces. Canvas/cloth is to be cleaned by using a high-pressure water hose. Poles are to be washed and scrubbed with water and a brush to remove all plant, soil and insect matter.

Stretchers are to be left disassembled for inspection.

Cover body armour and inserts

Plates are to be removed and cleaned as necessary to remove any soil, plant and insect matter. The cover or coat is to be brushed or washed clean of any soil, plant and insect debris paying particular attention to the plate pocket and overlapping cloth areas.

Mosquito nets, camouflage nets and tents

Ensure that all mosquito nets, camouflage nets, tents, tent poles and tent pegs are clean and free of any soil, plant and insect matter.

Wet weather clothing

Wash all wet weather protective clothing, including Japara, to remove all soil, plant and insect debris.

Rope assembly

Remove all twigs, foliage etc. that has become embedded in the rope fibres and then wash to remove all soil, plant and insect matter.

First aid dressing

To be removed from pouch or untapped from webbing to ensure no soil, plant and insect matter has been trapped on the tape or in between tape and dressing.

Cloth neck (sweat cloth)

Remove all twigs, foliage etc. that may have become embedded in the cloth fibres. Wash if necessary, to remove all soil, plant and insect matter.

Shelter individual (shelter half)

Wash to remove all soil, plant and insect debris.

Insulation tape

Remove all insulation tape that has been used to hold items and other accessories onto webbing.

For further information please contact the Machinery and Military Team:

Phone: +61 7 3246 8755
Email: Military