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Australian Defence Force Assistance To Tsunami

Monday, 27 December 2004
244/04

AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE ASSISTANCE TO TSUNAMI VICTIMS

The Australian Government has pledged the support of the Australian Defence Force in response to the devastating earthquake off the Indonesia coast.

Defence Minister Robert Hill said, "Two Royal Australian Air Force C130 Hercules aircraft and a team of personnel are currently being prepared for departure from RAAF Richmond this afternoon and will assist in providing humanitarian support in the region."

"The C-130 will carry essential emergency stores including medical supplies, blankets and other emergency provisions and will depart late this afternoon from RAAF Base Richmond." Senator Hill said that the response is a cooperative effort by DFAT (AusAID), Defence and Emergency Management Australia.

Discussions are under way to identify the location where Australian Emergency Aid would be most effective. In the meantime, the Government is considering staging the aircraft through Butterworth, Malaysia, with the agreement of the Malaysian Government.

The first target for Australian Emergency Aid and any further Australian Defence Force (ADF) commitment will be considered by Government and advised in further updates on the situation.

'The Royal Australian Air Force is highly trained and well equipped to deal with such situations. This has been demonstrated in the past with the ADF support to Iran, Bali, and Papua New Guinea," Senator Hill said.

ENDS


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