Advance party headed for Somalia

On this day, two C-130 Hercules from No 37 Squadron (A97-167 and 171) departed Richmond for Amberley and Townsville to collect troops and equipment of the Army advance party bound for Somalia under Operation Solace (aimed at bringing relief to the starving population of that lawless country). They were followed the next day by a further aircraft from 37 Squadron (A97-189) and another from 36 Squadron, which carried stores and members of the Media Support Unit. The aircraft reached the Somali capital, Mogadishu, after staging through Diego Garcia atoll in the Indian Ocean and Mombasa, Kenya, where significant delays were experienced due to the number of aircraft needing refuelling. A97-167 and 171, along with the 36 Squadron aircraft, returned to Richmond on 15 January, with the last aircraft arriving the following day.

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