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Taking Aim at Climate Change: Australia's Military Sees Rising Challenges

When Cyclone Winston barrelled into Fiji last week, Australia's first response was to dispatch RAAF Globemaster cargo planes with urgent aid and defence personnel to help the battered Pacific populace.

The amphibious vessel HMAS Canberra is also expected to make landfall on Tuesday, bringing more assistance to a nation hit by the strongest tempest – with sustained winds of 287km/h – ever recorded in the southern hemisphere.

For years, Australia's military has regularly been called upon to assist with disasters in its backyard as well as during floods or cyclones at home.

Those demands will likely increase in the future as climate change presents "a major challenge for countries in Australia's immediate region", the new defence white paper declared last week in a little remarked upon tilt in the nation's military planning blueprint.

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