Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, today announced the return of Australian Defence Force (ADF) aircraft and personnel from Papua New Guinea (PNG) following the 7.5 magnitude earthquake and a series of severe aftershocks which affected the country’s remote Highland areas.
In response to a request from the PNG Government, Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules, C-17A Globemaster, B300 King Air and three Australian Army CH-47F Chinook helicopter crews distributed emergency supplies to those affected by the disaster throughout PNG.
Minister Payne said ADF personnel and aircraft supported the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief effort for the PNG Government to deliver aid to some of the most remote villages of PNG.
“Our ADF personnel facilitated the delivery of Australian Aid to some of the worst affected Southern and Western Highlands villages,” Minister Payne said.
“Our aircraft helped PNG officials, the United Nations and other partners deliver 547 tonnes of critical humanitarian supplies including medical kits, tarpaulins and bed mats.
“Australia is always ready to assist our neighbours with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. While the ADF effort is now over, we will continue to work closely with PNG authorities should they require additional support.”
Additional command, communications and logistic elements were drawn from Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force units around Australia.
Up to 270,000 people were affected by the earthquake and aftershocks, which first struck PNG on 26 February 2018.
Operation PNG Assist 18 was the ADF contribution to the DFAT-led, Whole-of-Australian Government response to the earthquake.
Imagery will be available at: https://images.defence.gov.au/S20180315