HMAS Tobruk arrives to support Vanuatu mission

HMAS Tobruk has arrived in Port Vila to assist the Vanuatu government in relief operations to repair damage in the wake of the devastating tropical cyclone Pam.

HMAS Tobruk, with 335 personnel on board, sailed from Townsville on 18 March with troops and equipment from the 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment and additional Australian Aid supplies.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has delivered 128 pallets of cargo to Vanuatu since the start of Operation Pacific Assist, including tools and equipment to repair homes, water purification and storage systems, temporary shelters as well as health and hygiene products.

Approximately 78 ADF personnel are already on the ground in Vanuatu. Saturday’s arrival of two Army S-70 Blackhawk helicopters, and now the arrival of a Navy MRH90 Taipan helicopter embarked on HMAS Tobruk, will provide air mobility to isolated areas.

The ship has also embarked specialist Navy capabilities for this mission including a Mobile Meteorological and Deployed Geospatial Survey Team.

HMAS Tobruk’s capabilities allow the ADF reach many island communities through delivery of supplies, equipment and reconstruction teams by landing craft, helicopter and crane.

A key strategic role for the ADF is to assist our regional partners in times of crisis. Our thoughts are with those who are suffering as a result of this cyclone.