ADF wraps up Operation Vanuatu Assist after cyclones.
By Robert Dougherty
Photo: Residents of Aniwa Island, Vanuatu, unload Australian Aid goods and cargo from an Australian Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter during Operation Vanuatu Assist 2023. Photo: LSIS Matthew Lyall.
The Australian Defence Force has delivered more than 100 tonnes of humanitarian aid during Operation Vanuatu Assist, after the country was devastated by Tropical Cyclones Judy and Kevin.
The ADF has officially wrapped the operation after completing delivery of food, shelter, and medical supplies from HMAS Canberra.
Royal Australian Air Force aircraft initially conducted aerial damage assessments, transported a multi-agency rapid assessment team, and delivered emergency supplies at the start of the operation.
More than 600 ADF personnel were deployed alongside humanitarian stores, helicopters, and engineering personnel following the initial response.
Commander of ADF Operations in the Southwest Pacific Major General Scott Winter said a significant amount from general duties, engineering, aviation, geospatial, amphibious and logistics personnel was achieved in working with Vanuatu after the cyclones.
“Our people proudly worked alongside Ni-Vanuatu authorities to deliver a range of emergency assistance as well as the transportation and distribution of humanitarian aid,” MAJGEN Winter said.
“Army, Air Force, and Navy personnel, using our amphibious capabilities and fixed-wing airlift support, have joined together and worked side by side with Vanuatu authorities to get aid to the areas of most need.”
The ADF was also able to provide Vanuatu with support for hydrographic reconnaissance, route clearance, emergency medical evacuations, transport of local government officials, and clean-up and remediation of local infrastructure, including Vila Central Hospital, two schools and the Maternity and Child Health Clinic.