RAAF aircraft to join Malaysian search and rescue effort

9 March 2014 | Media Release

The Australian Defence Force will send two RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft to Malaysia to assist in the search and rescue effort for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

Both the Orion aircraft are based in Darwin, one aircraft departed tonight for RAAF Butterworth in Malaysia where it will be based to conduct its search activities. The second Orion aircraft is scheduled to depart on Monday morning.

This follows a decision by the Malaysian Government to accept an offer from the Australian Prime Minister.

Acting Chief of the Australian Defence Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin said the Orion aircraft is a specialist maritime patrol and long-range surveillance aircraft equipped with a variety of sensors and electro-optics detectors making it ideally suited for this type of operation.

“This is a terrible tragedy and the Australian Defence Force stands ready to do all it can to assist our Malaysian friends,” Air Marshal Binskin said.

“This has affected all Australians very deeply and our thoughts are with the families of all those caught in this incident.”

Media Note:
Media will have an opportunity to shoot vision only at RAAF Base Darwin on Monday morning 10 March 2014.

Interested media are to register their interest with Ms Kelly Cooper on 0411 885 994 if they wish to attend, registered media will be advised of assembly time and location.

Images of AP-3C Orion aircraft are available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20140550

Media contact:
Defence Media Operations: (02) 6127 1999

Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946

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