The destruction caused by recent bushfires has been likened to what would be seen on a battlefield.
Brigadier Mick Garraway, who is in charge of the 1110 joint task force of military personnel who were mobilised to help in the bushfire efforts, visited his former home town of Tumut on Friday and flew over some of the fire-affected areas.
"The destruction across the state and across Victoria is commensurate with the destruction you'll see in a war zone: Over five million hectares in NSW burnt, thousands of homes - it's not unlike the destruction you'll see on a battlefield," he said.
Currently there are about 95 military personnel based at Tumut, which was home to Brigadier Garraway for part of his childhood.
"It's always good to come back. It's been 30 years since I left, but it still feels like home, even though that probably sounds really unusual," he said.
"It's sad to come back under the circumstances we're here, but we're a large organisation and can lend a hand in times like this, so it's nice to be able to help out. Just unfortunate circumstances overall."
Brigadier Garraway said the Australian Defence Force had great capabilities and was able to help out emergency services.
"The firefighting done by the RFS and the other emergency services are on the main effort, as we refer to it in the military. So we're really supporting them and trying to help them maximise their time on the fires, so to speak," he said.
"We can bring helicopters, we can bring engineering equipment, plant, tradesmen water trucks, fuel trucks, all sorts of things into action that can help those volunteers stay on the firefighting efforts."
On Friday, some of the military personnel were working to create almost 70 kilometres of containment lines and fire breaks.
In recent days, medics have also been working in smaller Snowy Valleys communities to offer walk-in medical clinics.
Brigadier Garraway described the conditions he saw flying between Canberra and Tumut, saying it was smokey and visibility low.
"We flew over the Bondo State Forest and we're all really hoping no fire will break out in that particular area," he said.
"That would be devastating for that particular area and across the state because we know how much damage has already been done by the Dunns Road and Green Valley fires and people are acutely tuned in to the potential economic damage and personal losses already suffered and the potential losses if a fire was to break out in that location in particular.
"We've got guys on plant helping prepare a fire break up near the Bondo forest."