Two Royal Australian Navy MRH-90 helicopters will depart HMAS Albatross today to assist the Australian Defence Force’s humanitarian assistance mission to Fiji in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winston.
The helicopters will travel north today to join another MRH-90 from 808 Squadron onboard HMAS Canberra in Brisbane before the ship and embarked personnel sail to Fiji in the coming days.
Commander Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Chris Smallhorn, said the versatility of the MRH-90 Taipan helicopter will make a valuable contribution to relief and recovery efforts.
“The MRH-90 and personnel from 808 Squadron who fly and maintain the aircraft, are enormously adaptable in terms of the sorts of roles and missions they can execute,” Commodore Smallhorn said.
“Humanitarian assistance is one of those tasks that can be enormously challenging and extremely rewarding as we are able to help people in need.
“Navy’s 808 Squadron and the MRH-90 are not strangers to assisting in natural disaster or humanitarian assistance.
“The helicopter assisted in relief efforts after Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu in 2015, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013 and also Operation Render Safe, a mine clearing exercise removing Second World War ordnance in Papua New Guinea in 2014.
“The aircraft is enormously capable, and in the hands of these impressive and talented Navy officers and sailors, it will do its job well.
“We’re enormously proud to be of service, not just to our country, but to our friends in crisis and that this contingent of Navy maintainers and aircrew, most of whom are residents of the Shoalhaven, will do their job well," he said.