Australia Defense Force

Australian Defence Force personnel enjoy Australian meat pies for lunch on Australia Day, high in the mountains of Kashmir.

An Australian Defence Force medical team is working in Pakistan and Kashmir as part of a humanitarian mission to provide vital health care assistance to people affected by the 8 October 2005 South Asia earthquakes. The team has established a medical centre at the remote town of Dhanni, about 20km north-east of Muzaffarabad, on the Pakistan side of the Kashmir Line Of Control.

The team, of about 140 personnel, includes medical personnel, a command element, an aviation detachment and logistics and communication personnel. Four Black Hawk helicopters are deployed to provide essential transport and support tasks.

The helicopters give the ADF team the mobility to extend medical care from the central hub at Dhanni to assist a large number of people in the harsh terrain of the surrounding region who need medical attention as a result of the earthquake.

The Black Hawk detachment is primarily from the Australian Army 5th Aviation Regiment based in Townsville. The health and support personnel comprise members of the Army’s logistic support force based at Randwick Barracks, Sydney; a Royal Australian Air Force primary health care team from Richmond, New South Wales; and personnel drawn from a range of units across Australia, including Reserves.