ShelterBox thank DFAT and the Australian Defence Force for their assistance in Fiji

 

Australian military helicopters proved essential in reaching remote island communities.

Australian military helicopters proved essential in reaching remote island communities in Fiji.

 

Getting emergency aid where it is needed most is often the biggest challenge following a disaster. When the disaster zone is an archipelago of more than 300 islands, as is the case in Fiji, the challenge is even greater. ShelterBox’s operational model of pre-positioning aid regionally meant that we were able to get essential aid into Fiji quickly. Partnering with other organisations, both government and non-government, meant we could distribute that aid to remote communities in their hour of need.

Consignment of ShelterBoxes being loaded onto a RAAF C130 transport plane at Richmond Air Base

Consignment of ShelterBoxes from pre-positioned stock, being loaded on to a RAAF C130 transport plane at Richmond Air Base.

ShelterBox Operations Manager, Alf Evans, who helped coördinate our response in Fiji said,

From the very first days of the crisis, both the Australian and New Zealand military were vital to ShelterBox’s response . All of our pre-positioned stock in both countries was flown in using Military transport. We have utilised helicopter assets numerous times to get aid and personnel efficiently to where it is needed. It is safe to say the military support has made key aspects of our response possible ,and fewer desperate families in need would have been assisted without the unique, specialist service they have provided. Shelterbox would like to extend its deepest thanks to all those involved, and hope we can replicate this fantastic partnership.

Shelterbox aid arrives at Nausori airport in Fiji

Shelterbox aid arrives at Nausori airport in Fiji

In a quote from a recent DFAT Press Release, the Interim Chief Executive of ShelterBox, Chris Warham, said,

‘Challenging responses, such as this in Fiji, so often require effective partnership and a pooling of resources and experience. Quite simply, without the assistance and expertise of the Australian Defence Force, ShelterBox would not have reached some outlying islands so quickly.’

Diane and baby Yokimi in front of their ShelterBox tent.

In the worst affected areas, ShelterBox aid was essential for vulnerable families.

ShelterBox continues to help families recover from the effects of Cyclone Winston in Fiji. If you would like to support our efforts, you can donate here: PLEASE DONATE

 

 

 

ShelterBox Trains with the Australian Defence Force

Australian SRT member, Peter Pearce takes part in Exercise Sea Dawn

Australian SRT member, Peter Pearce takes part in Exercise Sea Dawn

Shelterbox Response Team members recently completed a disaster relief training exercise with the ADF (Australian Defence Force). All three Services of the ADF have came together in joint amphibious training as part of Exercise Sea Dawn in North Queensland. ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members, Peter Pearce and Mike Greenslade were involved in the HADR (Humanitarian Aid & Disaster Relief) part of the 3-week exercise.

Bushmaster vehicles belonging to the 2 Royal Australian Regiment are transported ashore by landing craft.

Bushmaster vehicles belonging to the 2 Royal Australian Regiment are transported ashore by landing craft (LCM8).

The exercise provided Navy, Army and Air Force personnel with the chance to work closely together and develop critical skills necessary for the ADF’s development of a joint capability and execute the full spectrum of amphibious operations. The chance to work with experienced SRT members was embraced by the exercise control team as part of their HADR training. 

Officers from 2RAR negotiate with the "Mayor' and 'Police Chief' of Cowley Island.

Officers from 2RAR negotiate with the “Mayor’ and ‘Police Chief’ of Cowley Island.

The Amphibious Task Group had to not only deal with the simulated disaster situation on the fictional ‘Cowley Island’ but also the constraints of working from a sea-based platform, HMAS Choules.

HMAS Choules conducts simultaneous boat and helicopter operations with an Australian Army LCM8 landing craft operating from the wet dock and a Blackhawk helicopter operating from the flight deck.  HMAS Choules and 2RAR are conducting phase two of Exercise Sea Dawn 2014 north of Townsville.

HMAS Choules conducts simultaneous boat and helicopter operations with an Australian Army LCM8 landing craft operating from the wet dock and a Blackhawk helicopter operating from the flight deck.
HMAS Choules and 2RAR are conducting phase two of Exercise Sea Dawn 2014 north of Townsville. (image ©ADF)

ShelterBox Australia General Manager and SRT member, Mike Greenslade said, “Exercise Sea Dawn provided a fantastic training opportunity for Australian SRTs and a chance to exchange expertise. Valuable lessons were learned by all parties and it is hoped that ShelterBox can work closely with the ADF in the future.”

L-R Commander Australian Task Force, Captain Jay Bannister RAN, SRT members, Peter Pearce & Mike Greenslade; Lieutenant Colonel Michael Bassingthwaight 2RAR

L-R Commander Australian Task Force, Captain Jay Bannister RAN, SRT members, Peter Pearce & Mike Greenslade; Lieutenant Colonel Michael Bassingthwaight 2RAR

Australian Forces Help ShelterBox In The Philippines

Tri-service support enables aid transportation to remote areas bringing shelter to Typhoon Haiyan survivors.

Tri-service support enables aid transportation to remote areas bringing shelter to Typhoon Haiyan survivors.

 

Australian Forces have been providing logistical support for ShelterBox in the Philippines, as the international disaster relief charity continues to bring emergency shelter and other vital aid to Typhoon Haiyan survivors in hard to reach areas of the Asian country.
The Australian Navy’s HMAS Tobruk transported over 300 ShelterBox disaster relief tents, vital water purification devices and mosquito nets to North Cebu, Central Visayas, helping ShelterBox continue to support those suffering most after the typhoon.
‘The majority of tents were taken to Santa Fe for distribution on Bantayan Island,’ said ShelterBox Operations Coordinator Alice Jefferson who has been managing the response in the Philippines since the devastating disaster happened six weeks ago.
‘The Australian Army has also been operating from HMAS Tobruk using boats that facilitated the movement of our relief tents as well as myself and another Response Team volunteer to Malapascua, a small but significantly affected island. We were able to immediately distribute the aid to the families most in need in a remote community on the north of the island who had so far received no humanitarian assistance or support.’
ShelterBox Reponse Team members Alice Jefferson (left-centre) and Ayeasia Macintyre (right) among Australian Naval staff. Photo courtesy of the Australian Navy.

ShelterBox Reponse Team members Alice Jefferson (left-centre) and Ayeasia Macintyre (right) among Australian Naval staff. Photo courtesy of the Australian Navy.

 

ShelterBox has also had help from the Australian Air Force. C130 aircraft have transported both ShelterBox Response Teams (SRTs) and ShelterBoxes to Tacloban city, the area hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan.
’13-foot storm surge’
‘We were able to bring shelter and other essential aid to families in some of the locations that bore the brunt of the 13-foot storm surge and 195mph sustained winds. Up to 90% of homes are destroyed in the worst affected areas.
‘The Australian Forces have played key roles in our response, helping us help communities in need as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are very grateful.’
SRTs are now focussing their distribution efforts in Tacloban and Bantayan, working in partnership with Plan International and Handicap International.
Thanks to your generous support and donating to the ShelterBox Emergency Typhoon Appeal, we have committed enough aid to help shelter over 7,800 families in the Philippines, which will continue to be distributed over the coming months as rubble is cleared and sites prepared.