NEWS

HMAS Adelaide Heads Home Today

Captain Stuart Watters said the smiles and happiness on the faces of the Fijian children and families made missing Christmas worthwhile.
20 Jan 2021 13:40
HMAS Adelaide Heads Home Today
The HMAS Adelaide. Photo: Jennis Naidu

After 21 days of rebuilding efforts on Galoa Island, the HMAS Adelaide will head home today. On December 30, 2020, the Australia Navy ship arrived in Fiji to help the nation recover in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Yasa.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel onboard HMAS Adelaide chose to spend Christmas and New Year’s away from their loved ones.

ADF engineers worked alongside the Republic of Fiji Military Force (RFMF) personnel to rehabilitate parts of Vanua Levu.

HMAS Adelaide Commanding Officer Captain Stuart Watters said the troops on board the Navy ship were looking forward to return home.

“If you are going to be away from your significant others, your kids, and your families for Christmas, you want to make it worthwhile,” Captain Watters said. “For us, this has really been a worthwhile mission. Being able to go and help out Fijian families the way we have.”

Captain Stuart Watters said the smiles and happiness on the faces of the Fijian children and families made missing Christmas worthwhile.

“Just seeing the kids on the beach, playing with the landing vehicles, playing with the soldiers, the face of the headteacher when he was opening Galoa Island School, made it really special,” he said.

HMAS Adelaide Commanding Officer Captain Stuart Watters. Photo: Jennis Naidu

HMAS Adelaide Commanding Officer Captain Stuart Watters. Photo: Jennis Naidu

Captain Watters acknowledged the support of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces for being by their side every step of the way during their mission.

“It has been absolutely incredible. I have been up on the helicopter and you see trees flattened for tens of kilometres. The devastation is huge,” he said.

“Being able to partner with the RFMF and follow their lead and co-ordination to make sure that we are able to help people, when and where needed. I think that has been really critical to its success.”

The team on the ground included 10 ADF tradesmen and 10 RFMF personnel.

“These men did a phenomenal job in this incredible heat and quite a lot of rain. They were able to really get that school building up and running.”

The HMAS Adelaide will leave Fiji’s shores today.

About the HMAS Adelaide 

-HMAS Adelaide is the largest ship in the Australian Defence Force. 

-It is 27,000 tonnes, 230m long and about two football fields longs, 

-It has about five helicopters, 400 people and bunks for about 1000 troops 

-Four landing crafts 

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: jennis.naidu@fijisun.com.fj


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