By Captain Zoe Griffyn
ADF and Republic of Fiji Military Forces’ logistics teams ensured vital supplies got to the thousands of people who needed them in cyclone-ravaged Fiji.
About 120 tonnes of goods were unloaded from HMAS Adelaide in the disaster-relief effort following the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Yasa.
The category five cyclone made landfall at Fiji’s Vanua Levu island on December 17 last year, with winds of 240km/h and gusts up to 345km/h.
Sub-Lieutenant Georgia Chaffey, of HMAS Adelaide said the loading, storage and distribution of additional supplies collected by Adelaide from Fiji’s capital, Suva, on the way to Vanua Levu ran smoothly.
“About 250 pallets of school supplies, food, hygiene kits, mattresses, tents, blankets and rainwater tanks were loaded into Adelaide,” Sub-Lieutenant Chaffey said.
“Once on board, the supplies were separated into groups for different islands and communities.
“They were then dispatched by air or Adelaide’s landing craft for delivery to where they were most required.”
Sapper Thomas Reading, of the 6th Engineer Support Regiment, deployed as a driver on Vanua Levu as part of Adelaide’s embarked forces.
“The scale and complex nature of the tasks means helping has been rewarding,” Sapper Reading said.
“It’s fulfilling to see what we can do for the community and the supplies we can give.”
At the request of the Fijian Government after the cyclone hit, two RAAF C-17A Globemaster flights delivered emergency humanitarian supplies to Fiji, while two RAAF P-8A Poseidons provided an assessment of the damage caused by the cyclone.
More than 600 ADF personnel deployed on HMAS Adelaide to Fiji on December 24.
Published by the Australian Department of Defence
Featured Photo: HMAS Adelaide sails past Tamarama as she returns to her homeport of Fleet Base East, Sydney, New South Wales.
More than 600 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel embarked in HMAS Adelaide, supporting the Fiji Government’s response to Tropical Cyclone Yasa on Operation Fiji Assist, has returned to Fleet Base East, Sydney, on 2 February 2021.
ADF elements worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to support the Republic of Fiji Military Forces to provide assistance to thousands of Fijians, including many from remote islands, whose homes, schools and other local infrastructure were damaged or destroyed by the category 5 cyclone.
HMAS Adelaide deployed on Operation Fiji Assist on 24 December 2020.
Credit: Australian Department of Defence