HMAS Tobruk at Dillon’s Bay

Published on SGT Dave Morley (author), ABIS Tom Gibson (photographer)

Seaman Alysia Spence (right) and Able Seaman Paul Wosomo help unload Australian Aid supplies to the people of Dillon Bay on the island of Erromango, Vanuatu, during Operation Pacific Assist 2015. (photo: ABIS Tom Gibson)
Seaman Alysia Spence (right) and Able Seaman Paul Wosomo help unload Australian Aid supplies to the people of Dillon Bay on the island of Erromango, Vanuatu, during Operation Pacific Assist 2015.

Willing volunteers from HMAS Tobruk’s ship's company made their way ashore at Dillon’s Bay on Erromango Island, Vanuatu, on 30 March to assist with several humanitarian assistance and disaster relief tasks.

The sailors worked alongside Army engineers from the Townsville-based 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment to offload Australian Aid stores from two LARC-V amphibious cargo vehicles.

They also assisted with loading bags of Leeton rice, high energy biscuits and other supplies onto HMAS Tobruk’s embarked MRH90 multi-role helicopter operating from the school’s soccer field.

Seaman Alysia Spence said she volunteered for the task after asking her supervisor for some time to help ashore.

“I wanted to feel like I’ve personally contributed to the humanitarian relief operation,” she said.

“It’s rewarding to see firsthand the actual results of this work, rather than just being on the ship all the time.”

Able Seaman Paul Wosomo said he had also been looking forward to the chance to help ashore.

“I’ve done Operation PHILIPPINES ASSIST and PNG ASSIST so my boss knows I’m capable at this type of work,” he said.

“I like seeing the people we are helping happy to receive our help.

“I have family in PNG so I know what these people have been through just trying to survive.”

Commanding Officer HMAS Tobruk Commander Leif Maxfield said he was pleased with the day’s results.

“Between the MRH-90 and the LARCs we delivered and distributed more than 20 pallets of Australian Aid stores today,” he said.