Laos visit a welcome first

A Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III recently landed in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, filled with supplies to support hundreds of local families in the event of a disaster.

CAPTION: Australian Aid pallets are unloaded from a RAAF C-17A Globemaster at Wattay International Airport in Laos. Story by Flying Officer Lily Lancaster. Photo by Sergeant David Said.

A group of VIPs watched on as 15 pallets of Australian aid were unloaded, destined for rural communities in Laos.

Australian Ambassador Paul Kelly and Laos Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Padermphone Sonthany were there to celebrate the handover of supplies as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE) 2022.

The humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies donated by the Australian Government included emergency response shelters, bedding and hygiene kits, able to support 560 families.

Officials from the Lao Ministry of Defence and Australian Embassy staff were excited to speak to the aircrew to learn more about the ADF, and some were given a tour of the Globemaster.

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CAPTION: RAAF pilot, Flight Lieutenant Jack Palmer, gives a tour of a C-17A Globemaser aircraft to Lao People’s Armed Forces personnel. Photo by Sergeant David Said.

First resident Defence Attaché to Laos Wing Commander Lauren McHardy said she was proud to work with the Laos government.

“There has been a great turnout of Lao People’s Armed Forces personnel as well as some representatives from other government organisations within Laos, which is just fantastic,” Wing Commander McHardy said.

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CAPTION: Defence Attache to Laos, Wing Commander Lauren McHardy. Photo by Sergeant David Said.

Commodore Allison Norris led the deployment to Laos – the first time IPE has visited the South-East Asian nation.

IPE is Australia’s key regional engagement activity, focusing on deepening cooperation on issues ranging from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to gender, peace and security.

“We are honoured to be here in Laos for IPE,” Commodore Allison Norris said.

“This week’s activities were a rewarding experience for all and provided a meaningful opportunity to learn from each other and become closer neighbours and partners.”

The supplies will be distributed to high-risk rural areas to be stored, ready to support Laos in an emergency.Preview image for asset

CAPTION: A RAAF C-17A Globemaster loaded with Australian Aid pallets at Wattay International Airport, Laos.  Photo by Sergeant David Said.





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