FOUR Townsville-based MRH-90 Taipan helicopters and their crews will return home after serving in cyclone recovery in the Pacific.

Operation Fiji Assist was a three-week recovery operation in Fiji after the devastation caused by category-5 Tropical Cyclone Yasa.

The Australian ArmyÕs 2nd General Health BattalionÕs Private Edie Haley with local children in the repaired and refurnished Galoa Island Primary School, Fiji during Operation Fiji Assist. PICTURE: ADF/SUPPLIED.
The Australian ArmyÕs 2nd General Health BattalionÕs Private Edie Haley with local children in the repaired and refurnished Galoa Island Primary School, Fiji during Operation Fiji Assist. PICTURE: ADF/SUPPLIED.

The choppers will return aboard HMAS Adelaide with the Australian army's 6th Engineer Support Regiment and 5th Aviation Regiment, who have been working with Fijian authorities.

Personnel were tasked with clearing debris, repairing critical infrastructure and repairing a local primary school allow to teachers and students to return this week. A total of 32 schools across Fiji were refurbished or temporarily restored, with Australian support.

Australian Army soldier, Corporal Stuart Somerville, looks over debris from the local primary school that was destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Yasa on the island of Galoa, near Vanua Levu, Fiji during Operation Fiji Assist. PICTURE: ADF/SUPPLIED.
Australian Army soldier, Corporal Stuart Somerville, looks over debris from the local primary school that was destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Yasa on the island of Galoa, near Vanua Levu, Fiji during Operation Fiji Assist. PICTURE: ADF/SUPPLIED.

Defence Minister, Senator Linda Reynolds said the ADFhad made a meaningful contribution to Fiji in supporting the Republic of Fiji
Military Forces.

"The reach of the amphibious and rotary wing capabilities operating from HMAS Adelaide was key to meeting the needs of those affected by the cyclone in outlying areas," she said.

"This week also marks one year since the RFMF's Bula Force arrived in Australia to assist us in responding to the Black Summer Bushfires.

Aerial shots of the Galoa Island primary school reconstruction after Tropical Cyclone Yasa during Operation Fiji Assist. PICTURE: ADF/SUPPLIED.
Aerial shots of the Galoa Island primary school reconstruction after Tropical Cyclone Yasa during Operation Fiji Assist. PICTURE: ADF/SUPPLIED.

"The ADF's rapid response over Christmas represents the spirit of our vuvale partnership and is reminiscent of the teamwork we saw between the two forces in 2020."

HMAS Adelaide is Australia's high-readiness vessel for responding to natural disasters in the region.

matthew.taylor5@news.com.au

Originally published as ADF crew head home after Fiji help



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