HMAS Kanimbla arrived off Banda Aceh at about 18:00 EST according to a media release from the Defence Department.
As is the custom with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships names are re-used thus the current Kanimbla is the second RAN ship to sail under that name. The history of the first Kanimbla is here This ship, also a Landing Ship spent a considerable part of WW2 in the Pacific taking part in landings in PNG and the Philipines.
The current Kanimbla comes with proud traditions.
In a media release Senator Hill said;
…it was anticipated that within a few hours of anchoring, Army landing craft – LCM8s – would commence the task of transporting equipment to the Banda Aceh shore. “Until now our focus has been the provision of life-essential needs of the Tsunami survivors such as food, water and medical support. The arrival of the Engineering detachment on board the Kanimbla means that we can now start providing reconstruction solutions for the longer term,” Senator Hill said. “Once on the ground the engineers will commence a busy schedule of clearing debris, repairing port facilities and constructing camps for displaced people who have lost their homes.
An Australian LCM 8
The Kanimbla, with two LCM8s can move a lot of equipment on-shore including heavy plant for debris clearing and road re-construction. Just what the Indonesians need.
I’m not sure if it’s what they want, though.
INDONESIAN Vice-President Jusuf Kalla yesterday called on foreign military forces to leave Aceh by March 26 or even earlier if emergency relief work was under control.
This article from News.com doesn’t look like a welcoming mat to me. It sounds like ‘Give us all your goodies and piss off’.
The Vice President of Indonesia Jusuf Kalla wants us out.
Deadline … foreign troops providing aid to tsunami victims have been told they must be out within three months / Reuters
“Three months are enough. In fact, the sooner the better,” Mr Kalla said, according to the state Antara news agency.
Why is it I feel slightly miffed.
Mr Kalla, who is in overall charge of Jakarta’s tsunami relief operation, said Aceh would need foreign medical workers and engineers instead of military assistance.
“Foreign troops are no longer needed,” he said.
Doesn’t want our helicopters and LCMs. Doesn’t want our engineers rebuilding homes, roads and infrastructure. Doesn’t want our young men and woman working their butts off for his traumatised people because they wear a uniform.
Maybe he would rather some UN bureacrats – little would be done but it would look good and the UN are pretty well on the side of radical moslems anyway.
Jusuf (My God is better than yours) Kalla is under pressure from Moslems in the Indon Parliament to get us out before we corrupt their people with freedom of worship.
God forbid, but it’s not what we are about and because that is what they are all about they will never believe us.
Pity. The people will suffer