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Defence Minister To Visit Tsunami Affected Region Of Indonesia

This is the text of a media release from the Minister for Defence, Senator Robert Hill.


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.

Defence Force At Work In Aceh

This is the text of a media release from the Minister for Defence, Senator Robert Hill.


Defence Minister Robert Hill today announced that a logistics hub is being established in Butterworth, Malaysia, to help better manage the flow of equipment and stores into tsunami affected regions in Sumatra.

“The Malaysian Government has granted approval for the Australian Defence Force to set up a logistics hub at the military facility in Butterworth. It further demonstrates the close working relationship we have with our regional partners, particularly in this time of great need,” Senator Hill said.

“The logistics hub will give the ADF greater flexibility in coordinating and moving the flow of humanitarian assistance equipment, stores and personnel to the tsunami affected areas in Sumatra while taking some pressure off the airfields in Banda Aceh and Medan.

“Specialist logistics staff will work closely with those in the recently established air operations centre to coordinate resupply aircraft movements into Sumatra. Our ADF aeromedical evacuation teams are also doing great work preparing tsunami victims for air transport to regional medical facilities while other medical staff are currently surveying Banda Aceh to prepare for the establishment of a hospital. An advance party of military engineers are also about to start their own survey work to determine the location and type of work most needed to help the people of Aceh. Army engineers are likely to be initially tasked with debris clearance and accommodation construction and the current surveys will set up a work program for the 150-strong party that will arrive onboard HMAS Kanimbla.”

The Government will continue to assess the ADF contribution to make sure it provides that most appropriate level of assistance to the people of Sumatra.

Hill Details Defence Support To Tsunami Relief In Aceh

This is the text of a media release from the Minister for Defence, Senator Robert Hill, detailing Defence support in Aceh.


Senator Robert Hill, Minister for DefenceDefence Minister Senator Robert Hill today confirmed that the Health Support Company (Field Hospital) which recently deployed to Indonesia will be based in Banda Aceh, following a request from Indonesian authorities.

“Following the destruction of virtually all infrastructure, it is crucial that Australia not only provides support, but provides the right type support in the right places. The Health Support Company will provide essential medical support in the area where it is needed most,” Senator Hill said.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has also sent a small team of specialists to assist in the establishment and operation of an air operations centre. The centre will streamline the flow of urgently needed aid by reducing congestion and coordinating air movements. [Read more…]