A platoon of Royal Tonga Marines from His Majesty’s Armed Forces (HMAF) has joined the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) to evacuate Ambae 11,000 residents on 30 September.
The Marines were scheduled to take part in a New Zealand-led regional exercise Southern Katipo 2017 as part of the ADF contingent on the HMAS CHOULES when they were re-assigned to provide humanitarian assistance at the request of the Government of Vanuatu, reports Matangi Tonga.
As part of the Vanuatu Assist 2017 operation, the HMAS Choules is carrying specialists and supplies to assist with the evacuation as well as a land craft.
The ADF and the Royal Tongan Marines will help to distribute food and water to the evacuated population.
HMAF stated it is not confirmed how long the platoon will be in Vanuatu.