Steven Cook


Operation Bali Assist was an operation to evacuate Australian and other foreign nationals from Bali to Australia after the Bali terrorist bombing on the12th October 2002. It was the largest aero medical evacuation by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) since the Vietnam War. The mission was conducted in two phases. The first phase was the evacuation of 66 patients in five C130 aircraft from Sanglar Hospital, Bali to Darwin Hospital. The first aircraft arrived 17 hours after the explosion and this phase involved the establishment of a casualty clearing station at Denpasar Airport to stabilise patients prior to transport.

In the second phase, 51 patients were secondarily evacuated from Darwin Hospital to burns/trauma centres around the country for definitive care. (35 patients were transported by military aircraft and the rest by civilian agencies). This was coordinated by Emergency Management Australia (EMA).

The mission was successful due to adherence to disaster management principals and training and also the united and dedicated response of all people involved both military and civilian.

This presentation will include footage from the casualty clearing station and will discuss lessons learned from this tragedy.