Vanuatu + 2 more

His Majesty’s Armed Forces Joined the Australian Defence Forces on Humanitarian Assistance Operation to Vanuatu

6th October, 2017 The Government of the Commonwealth of Australia has sent an Australian Defence Forces (ADF) contingent to provide humanitarian assistance to Vanuatu in the face of a volcanic eruption threat on Ambae Island. The ADF contingent includes a platoon of Royal Tonga Marines from His Majesty’s Armed Forces.

The Tongan platoon was scheduled to deploy with ADF contingent on HMAS CHOULES to participate in a New Zealand-led regional exercise, Exercise SOUTHERN KATIPO 2017. On Saturday 30 September 2017, HMAS CHOULES and the ADF contingent were re-assigned to provide humanitarian assistance to Vanuatu. At the request of the Government of Vanuatu, the Tongan platoon redeployed with HMAS CHOULES to provide humanitarian assistances in Vanuatu as part of Operation VANUATU ASSIST 2017.

HMAS CHOULES will help the Government of Vanuatu evacuate the 11,000 residents on Ambae Island. Also on board are specialists and supplies to assist with the evacuation as well as a landing craft. The ADF and Royal Tongan Marines will provide assistances on distribution of food and water to evacuated population. The duration of the task is not yet confirmed.