A RAAF C-17A Globemaster III has delivered 15 pallets of disaster relief supplies to Laos in Southeast Asia.
The humanitarian aid was donated by the Australian government and includes response shelters, bedding and hygiene kits that could support 560 families.
The aircraft landed in Vientiane, the country’s capital, and the kit will now be taken to rural communities.
Australian ambassador Paul Kelly and Laos minister Padermphone Sonthany were to witness the handover as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE) 2022.
IPE 2022 is one of Australia’s main regional engagement activities and will visit 14 countries this year from September to November.
The countries include the Maldives, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and Indonesia.
IPE began in 2017 and aims to promote security and stability in the regions closest to Australia.
First resident Defence Attaché to Laos Wing Commander Lauren McHardy said she was proud to work with the Laos government.
“There has been a great turnout of Lao People’s Armed Forces personnel as well as some representatives from other government organisations within Laos, which is just fantastic,” Wing Commander McHardy said.
Commodore Allison Norris led the deployment to Laos — the first time IPE has visited the south-east Asian nation.
“We are honoured to be here in Laos for IPE,” Commodore Norris said.
“This week’s activities were a rewarding experience for all and provided a meaningful opportunity to learn from each other and become closer neighbours and partners.”
The Boeing C-17A Globemaster III is a four-engine heavy transport aircraft that can accommodate huge payloads and land on runways just 1 kilometre long.
RAAF owns eight, all operated by No. 36 Squadron and based at Amberley. The first arrived in 2006 and the last in 2015, complementing its CH-47F Chinooks and C-130J Hercules. No 36 Squadron, meanwhile, celebrated its 80th on 11 March 2022.
The squadron was established as the 22nd Transport Squadron at Essendon Airport in Melbourne on 3 April 1942, coinciding with the establishment of several RAAF transport squadrons earlier the same year.