808 Squadron Shows Its Versatility in Tonga

During Operation Tonga Assist 2022, crews from Navy’s 808 Squadron completed dozens of missions around the 169-island archipelago, including VIP flights, airlifting essential stores and equipment, and transporting medical teams and COVID-19 vaccines to outlying islands. A Navy MRH-90 Taipan helicopter operated from the landing helicopter dock HMAS Adelaide and, subsequently, HMAS Canberra. Flight commander of Ready Team 1, Lieutenant…

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HMAS Canberra Arrives Home

HMAS Canberra sailed back into Sydney March 29 after completing the Australian Defence Force’s ship-based support to Tonga. Canberra left Tongan waters after a farewell ceremony on March 22 for ADF, Republic of Fiji Military Forces and French Armed Forces in New Caledonia personnel in Nuku’alofa, attended by Tongan Deputy Prime Minister Poasi Tei. ADF personnel deployed on Operation Tonga…

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HMAS Canberra Returns from Tonga

The Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Canberra, her crew and embarked forces have arrived in Townsville following their deployment on Operation Tonga Assist 2022. HMAS Canberra arrived in the Tongan capital of Nuku’alofa on March 1, to contribute to the Australian Government’s disaster relief and recovery mission following the devastating undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami. During its mission, HMAS Canberra…

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Communist Chinese Naval Vessels Return from Tonga

The PLA naval vessels, the amphibious dock landing ship Wuzhishan (Hull 987) and the comprehensive supply ship Chaganhu (Hull 967), ended their mission of transporting disaster relief materials to Tonga and returned to a naval port in Zhanjiang, South China’s Guangdong Province, on the morning of March 21. Upon the request of the Kingdom of Tonga for volcanic disaster relief,…

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Farewell Acknowledges Work of Pacific Family

A farewell ceremony at Tonga’s Vuna Wharf was held on March 16 to thank personnel from the Australian Defence Force (ADF), French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC), and Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) who have been operating together from HMAS Canberra. HMAS Canberra departed the Kingdom of Tonga for Australia on March 18, marking the completion of her…

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HMAS Canberra Arrives in Tonga

HMAS Canberra has arrived in Tonga to relieve HMAS Adelaide on Operation Tonga Assist 2022. Canberra was guided into Nuku’alofa by Guardian-class patrol boat VOEA Ngahau Siliva with Adelaide and Supply in company. The harbour entry marked a handover of command between sister ships Adelaide and Canberra as the local ADF Joint Task Group for Operation Tonga Assist 2022, supporting…

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Navy team surveys Tonga below the waterline

DGSTs chart the safest route using high-frequency sonar equipment attached to Zodiac inflatable boats to take high-resolution images of the sea floor. “Data is collected in a planned line pattern to assess the water depth,” Petty Officer Duthie said. “We apply our collected data to known tides and satellite imagery of reef formations to chart the safest beach approach.” DGSTs…

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Chinese Naval Ships Arrive in Tonga

A disaster relief supplies transportation fleet dispatched by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy arrived at the Nuku’alofa Port, Tonga, around 10:00 a.m. UTC+13, February 15, 2022. The fleet consists of PLA Navy’s amphibious dock landing ship Wuzhishan (Hull 987) and supply ship Chaganhu (Hull 967). The two ships bring a total of 1400-odd tons of supplies including mobile…

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HMAS Supply Arrives in Tonga

Navy auxiliary oiler replenishment ship HMAS Supply arrived in Tongan waters as part of Operation Tonga Assist 2022 on February 12. The ship’s company got down to work straightaway, conducting its first replenishment at sea (RAS) with HMAS Adelaide the same day. HMAS Supply sailor Petty Officer Boatswain Michael Hirschausen oversaw the RAS and said it’s a whole-ship evolution involving…

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A Taste of Tonga for HMAS Adelaide

The Government of Tonga has expressed its gratitude for HMAS Adelaide’s delivery of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief stores by sending the ship a giant fresh fruit gift. Adelaide received dozens of bags of coconuts, pineapples, bananas and watermelons after Tonga’s Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni phoned Commanding Officer Captain Stuart Watters to send best wishes and acknowledge the Australian Defence Force’s support. “I was incredibly…

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