The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin has completed a two day visit to Australian Defence Force personnel currently helping the people of Fiji recover after Tropical Cyclone Winston.
Air Chief Marshal Binskin thanked the Australians for their efforts.
“You are doing an outstanding job and the Fijian people are extremely grateful. They will not forget how you helped them and the community or the compassion you showed as they started to rebuild their lives.”
Around 900 ADF personnel are currently deployed on Operation Fiji Assist as part of the Australian Government contribution.
“We are working closely alongside the Fiji's National Disaster Management Office, Republic of Fijian Military Forces, Australia's Department and Foreign Affairs and Trade and other non-government organisations to deliver help and aid where it's needed. It's a real team effort.”
Today, Air Chief Marshal Binskin visited HMAS Canberra and Koro Island. He was accompanied by Fijian Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama and Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto, Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, along with Australia's Head of Mission, Margaret Twomey, and Fiji Minister for Immigration, National Security and Defence, Timoci Natuva.
There was a brief operational pause to mark International Women's Day before the ship's company got back to business.
“Canberra has delivered approximately 90 tonnes of emergency relief supplies, including water purification equipment, humanitarian supplies and three of the seven MRH-90 helicopters now operating in Fiji,” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.
On Monday, Joint Task Force 635 briefed the Chief of Defence on Operation Fiji Assist.
To date, the ADF has transported more than 480 tonnes of humanitarian supplies and equipment on 28 flights from Australia to Fiji.
“From the RAAF C-17 and C130 crews to the Army engineers on the ground and the crew aboard Navy's HMAS Canberra, we are doing what we can to help our neighbours in their time of need,” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20160466
Defence Media (02) 6127 1999