The personnel of Operation Fiji Assist were honoured with a visit to HMAS Canberra, by the Fijian Minister for Immigration, National Security and Defence, Mr Timoci Natuva on March 03, 2016. Mr Natuva was given a first hand look at the capabilities offered by the ship, which has been deployed to Fiji as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) led Australian Whole of Government response to Fiji’s request for Humanitarian Aide Disaster Relief support in response to Tropical Cyclone Winston. Mr Natuva was flown onto Canberra before being met by the Commander Joint Task Force 635, Captain Brett Sonter, Commanding Officer HMAS Canberra, Captain Chris Smith and Commander Landing Force, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Bassingthwaighte. Mr Natuva was given a tour of the vessel, which arrived into Fijian waters on the 1st of March to begin the second phase of Australia’s relief effort, joining Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemasters delivering aid and assistance. Mr Natuva was briefed on the operation, which is currently focussing on Koro Island, one of the worst islands to be struck by Tropical Cyclone Winston, before returning back to Suva by Helicopter.
Credit: Australian Ministry of Defence