Defence portfolio - Bernard Pearson Photography
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Australia's Chief of Defence Force, General Peter Cosgrove during his visit to troops in Banda Aceh.

As the drawdown of Australian Defence personnel in Sumatra commences, Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel have begun handing over functioning capabilities to be managed in the long term by civilian personnel and organisations.

The ADF have been assisting Indonesian Government authorities as part of the Australian Government program of humanitarian relief following the Boxing Day tsunami. The ADF has been working in support of tsunami disaster relief in Indonesia's Northern Sumatra and Aceh Provinces since 28 December 2004.

Relief assistance provided by Australia is part of a co-operative effort involving the ADF, DFAT (AusAID) and Emergency Management Australia. Water, tentage, medical supplies, blankets, and other emergency provisions, and logistical support have been provided.

In the tsunami-devastated provincial capital of Banda Aceh, the ADF set up a water purification plant and established the ANZAC Field Hospital, a field hospital operated jointly by medical personnel of the ADF and the New Zealand Defence Force. The ANZAC field hospital performed its final operation on 20 February before handing it back to the Indonesians and AusAid.

The Australian Navy amphibious transport ship, HMAS Kanimbla, delivered a detachment of Australian Army Engineers an 13 January, and has taken up station as a floating support and logistics base for relief and reconstruction work.