This is the text of a media release from the Minister for Defence, Senator Robert Hill.
DEFENCE MINISTER TO VISIT TSUNAMI AFFECTED REGION OF INDONESIA
Defence Minister Robert Hill will travel to Indonesia on Friday to visit the Australian relief personnel who are providing vital assistance to tsunami victims.
Senator Hill will fly into Sumatra to visit Australian Defence Force personnel in Medan and Banda Aceh who are assisting Indonesian authorities in the disaster relief operation.
“Indonesia is the nation hardest hit by the tsunami, and Australia has responded to its request for assistance by sending aid that will have a direct effect,” Senator Hill said. “The ADF’s contribution represents a major component of Australia’s assistance to Indonesia. The medical teams, transport and logistics specialists are working around the clock to help those injured and displaced. As well as getting a clear impression of ongoing needs, I also wish to acknowledge the collaborative efforts between the Australian Defence Force and the Indonesian Armed Forces. They are working closely together and doing an outstanding job.”
Senator Hill will be accompanied by Secretary for Defence and former Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Ric Smith, and Air Commander Australia, Air Vice-Marshal Geoff Shepherd.
On Friday morning, the Governor General, Major General Michael Jeffery and Senator Hill will visit HMAS KANIMBLA as it prepares to depart Darwin. The ship will carry an Army Engineer detachment to Sumatra.