Fiji Minister of Defence visits HMAS Canberra

This article has photo gallery Published on Department of Defence (author), LSIS Helen Frank (photographer), ABIS Chris Beerens (photographer)

Location(s): Koro Island, Fiji

Fiji Minister for Defence, Mr Timoci Lesi Natuva meets Fijian Australian, AB Apete Turuva onboard HMAS Canberra. (photo: ABIS Chris Beerens)
Fiji Minister for Defence, Mr Timoci Lesi Natuva meets Fijian Australian, AB Apete Turuva onboard HMAS Canberra.

Australian Defence personnel currently deployed as part of Operation FIJI ASSIST were honoured with a visit to HMAS Canberra, by the Fijian Minister for Immigration, National Security and Defence, Mr Timoci Natuva on 3 March.
 
Mr Natuva was given a first hand look at the capabilities offered by the ship, which has been deployed to Fiji as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade led Australian Whole of Government response to Fiji’s request for Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief support in response to Tropical Cyclone Winston.
 
Mr Natuva was flown onto Canberra before being met by the Commander Joint Task Force 635, Captain Brett Sonter, Commanding Officer Canberra, Captain Chris Smith, and Commander Landing Force, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Bassingthwaighte.
 
Mr Natuva was given a tour of the vessel, which arrived into Fijian waters on 1 March to begin the second phase of Australia’s relief effort, joining Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemasters delivering aid and assistance. Mr Natuva was briefed on the operation, which is currently focussing on Koro Island, one of the worst islands to be struck by Tropical Cyclone Winston, before returning back to Suva by Helicopter.