Royal Australian Navy’s amphibious landing ship dock HMAS Choules set sail for northern Queensland in anticipation of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
The amphibious ship left Sydney on March 27 as part of broader Australian Defence Force support to Queensland emergency services responding to the cyclone, which is expected to make landfall early on March 28.
The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin said the forces were prepared and ready to respond with immediate assistance to local communities within the storm zone in coordination with state and local disaster management authorities.
“Australian Defence Force personnel are highly trained, well equipped and experienced in providing assistance to Australian communities affected by natural disasters.”
“We are ready and able to respond to this emergency in support of civilian emergency authorities and the residents of north eastern Queensland once the full impact of Debbie is known,” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.
“As a precaution HMAS Choules is heading north to Queensland to be ready to support recovery efforts if required,” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.
HMAS Choules originally served with the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary until she was removed from service in 2010 under the UK Strategic Defence and Security Review.
The former RFA Largs Bay was acquired by the Royal Australian Navy for A$100 million (£65 million) and commissioned into service in December 2011.