Royal Australian Navy’s landing helicopter dock HMAS Canberra returned to Suva, Fiji early on March 10 to conduct a resupply of essential aid and construction equipment intended for Fiji’s cyclone-ravaged Taveuni and Koro Islands.
According to the Navy, twenty pallets of humanitarian aid were loaded onto landing craft and amphibious transport vehicles to embark in the ship, including water, shelter, hygiene kits and construction materials.
The ship’s cargo specialists and Terminus operators, also known as ‘Termites’, transferred stores onto the Landing Craft using the MHT-X780 Forklift.
Executive Officer Canberra, Commander Jason Hunter, commented: “To come off the Australian station and be in position in Suva to assist the Government of Fiji as they work hard to support their people, it’s good to see our capability being put to good use and makes the crew very proud.”
“After a very busy 12 months of trials and acceptance, we are well and truly qualified to be able to conduct humanitarian aid.”
On Koro Island, Australian Defence Force personnel have been working with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Government of Fiji officials and local villagers to help communities recover from damage inflicted by the cyclone.
Upon resupplying, the ship is to sail 200 kilometres northeast of Suva to the island of Taveuni where the ship’s engineering and amphibious assets will continue to be used to provide initial disaster assistance to help the local communities get back on their feet.
The monster cyclone which hit Fiji on Saturday, February 20, 2016 left 42 people dead and millions of damage. New Zealand has also sent its ships to support Fiji with HMNZS Canterbury, Royal New Zealand Navy’s multi-role vessel taking the helm.