Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Tonga Tsunami Relief Coordinated from Bungendore, NSW

At the the Pacific Security Cooperation Workshop hosted at ANU in Canberra, Air Commodore David Hombsch, HQ JOC ADF, is describing how the headquarters in Bungendore NSDW was able to take workload off personnel on the ground in Tonga during relief operations after the January 2022 tsunami. The personnel in Australia were able to coordinate with their counterparts around the Pacific, using high quality communications available. They could also take advice from experts in Canberra. This in a way goes against the usual model of military and relief operations which see a tent city built, usually at an airfield, full of staff, or on a ship offshore.

One point Mr Sione Taumoefolau, of the Tonga Red Cross made was the need for somewhere to store the materials provided by international donors. One way I suggest might be for lightweight structures built on shipping containers to be used. There is likely to be a surplus of shipping containers, and these can be used to build warehouses, by the addition of a fabric roof between two rows of containers. 

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