The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) amphibious heavy lift ship, HMAS Tobruk , has arrived in Port Vila, capital of Vanuatu, to help the country’s cyclone relief efforts, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) announced on 23 March.
Vanuatu was hit by a category 5 tropical cyclone in mid-March that devastated several south Pacific islands. According to the United Nations, an estimated 17 were killed and 65,000 were made homeless.
Tobruk is embarked with humanitarian aid, 335 personnel, and a MRH90 Taipan helicopter to reach isolated areas. The RAN assets will join two S-70 Black Hawk helicopters that have been in Vanuatu since 21 March.
Tobruk can carry about 1,300 tonnes of cargo and is equipped with two 4.25-tonne cranes. The 127 m vessel can accommodate up to four Sea King helicopters, according to data from IHS Jane’s Fighting Ships . “HMAS Tobruk’s capabilities allow the Australian Defence Force [to] reach many island communities through delivery of supplies, equipment, and reconstruction teams by landing craft, helicopter, and crane,” the DoD said.
With the arrival of Tobruk , Australia has so far delivered 128 pallets of cargo to the country, including temporary shelters, water purification and storage systems, and home repair equipment.