HMAS Choules, one of the largest ships in the Royal Australian Navy, arrived in Vanuatu yesterday to help with Operation Vanuatu Assist.
CAPTION: Members of the ADF and other Australian-government agencies on the wharf in Luganville, Vanuatu, after the arrival of HMAS Choules for Operation Vanuatu Assist 2017 – from left: Major Nick Kelly, Major Mel Hopkins, Commanding Officer HMAS Choules Commander Dave Graham, Director of Humanitarian Operations at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Craig Kentwell, Manager Project Operations at Palladium Matthew Everitt and Squadron Leader Karen Brown. Photo by Leading Seaman Jake Badior.
Loaded with an Army MRH90 helicopter as well as troops from Australia and Tonga, HMAS Choules is alongside on the island of Espiritu Santo.
Over coming days, HMAS Choules’ ships company and the ship’s army detachment will begin distributing aid to remote areas of the island nation.
Approximately 11,000 people were ordered to evacuate the island of Ambae due to the threat of volcanic eruption.
Operation Vanuatu Assist 2017 is the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the whole-of-government response to the volcano crisis.