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HMAS Kanimbla To Arrive Shortly At Banda Aceh

HMAS Kanimbla To Arrive Shortly At Banda Aceh

Defence Minister Robert Hill said today the arrival of the HMAS Kanimbla would mark an important milestone in the Australian Defence Force's commitment to assisting Australia's neighbours in their time of need.

The HMAS Kanimbla is scheduled to arrive at Banda Aceh at approximately 6:00pm (Australian eastern daylight saving time) today. Senator Hill said it was anticipated that within a few hours of anchoring, Army landing craft - LCM8s - would commence the task of transporting equipment to the Banda Aceh shore.

"Until now our focus has been the provision of life-essential needs of the Tsunami survivors such as food, water and medical support. The arrival of the Engineering detachment on board the Kanimbla means that we can now start providing reconstruction solutions for the longer term," Senator Hill said.

"Once on the ground the engineers will commence a busy schedule of clearing debris, repairing port facilities and constructing camps for displaced people who have lost their homes.

"The ADF's commitment to the people of Indonesia continues to be substantial with around 1000 men and women now deployed to the region."

Senator Hill paid special tribute to the men and women of the ADF whose efforts always made a difference whatever the task.

"Not only do the ADF's men and women serve their country well, they do it with compassion and kindness," Senator Hill said.

"Our people continue, as they always have, to respond to calls for assistance from those in need." Senator Hill said this was ADF's largest humanitarian-like operation in recent years, and follows on from other significant relief efforts.

Some of the recent relief and humanitarian-like operations undertaken by the ADF include:

* July 1998 The PNG Tsunami
* December 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race
* October 2002 The Bali Bombing
* January 2003 Bushfires including the Canberra Bushfire
* December 2003 Iranian Earthquake
* January 2004 Assistance to the Island of Niue following Cyclone Heta
* February 2004 Assistance to Vanuatu following Cyclone Ivy

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