The New Zealand Navy’s sealift and amphibious support ship HMNZS Canterbury is being dispatched to support NZDF relief efforts in Vanuatu as it recovers from Tropical Cyclone Pam.
Canterbury has an extensive range of capabilities including the ability to land personnel, vehicles and cargo by landing craft, helicopter or ramps, as well as conventional port infrastructure.
She can carry up to 250 people as well as her own crew for long periods, and has played a significant part in previous disaster relief efforts such as the Samoa earthquake and tsunami in 2009 and the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011.
The Navy has been preparing the ship to be ready for a possible deployment since the cyclone struck Pacific Island countries late last week, says the Commanding Officer, CDR Simon Rooke.
This ship has an extraordinary range of capabilities.
The ship is expected to sail on Sunday after helicopters have been embarked and appropriate aid supplies and personnel are aboard.
RNZAF aircraft are also in the air in support of Vanuatu.