On 31 January, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) confirmed that the Australian Navy’s Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ship HMAS Adelaide experienced a power failure during its humanitarian mission in Tonga.
The officials noted that essential functions such as refrigeration and sanitation systems are up and running. Furthermore, food supplies have not been adversely affected as a result of the power outage. In addition to this, air conditioning is operational in most areas of the ship, according to the defence officials.
Currently, the ship is s not under tow, nor has it been under tow while in or near Tonga.
“The power outage has not affected Australia’s ability to support requests from the Government of Tonga to assist their recovery efforts,” Australian DoD stated.
“Civilian specialists are on route to conduct an assessment of the affected systems.”
Earlier on, the Australian Navy reported that HMAS Adelaide sailed on a mission in Tonga, which was hit by a massive volcano eruption, and completed the loading of humanitarian and disaster relief stores, equipment and personnel in readiness to aid recovery efforts.
Commander Joint Task Force 637 Major General Scott Winter said Australia’s contribution was part of a wider relief effort that included regional partners.
“We are proud to work alongside His Majesty’s Tonga Armed Forces as well as other Pacific family partners including Fiji, New Zealand, Japan, United States, India, France and the UK as we start to coordinate this effort in support of a very important member of our Pacific Family,” Winter noted.
HMAS Adelaide provides the most suitable heavy-lift platform to transport substantial quantities of personnel, equipment and provisions and can accommodate the ADF elements for the duration of the deployment without impacting on the local resources in the affected areas.
Disaster relief support includes engineering, medical and helicopters to support logistics and distribution in Tonga.
HMAS Adelaide III, the second of two Canberra class amphibious ships and the largest ever built for the Royal Australian Navy was commissioned on 4 December 2015.