Air Force returns from Operation PHILIPPINES ASSIST
20 December 2013
The return of two Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules transport aircraft to RAAF Base Richmond today (20 December) has marked the conclusion of Air Force’s support to the Australian Government relief effort Operation PHILIPPINES ASSIST.
Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown, AO, said that all Air Force personnel and aircraft in the Philippines, including a 70-strong Air Component Coordination Element at Mactan International Airport, were critical to delivering aid where it was needed.
“Air Force personnel and aircraft directly supported the relief effort alongside other international partners and the Philippine Government,” Air Marshal Brown said.
“I am proud of all Air Force members who played a role in Operation PHILIPPINES ASSIST, which has enabled Australia to bring some relief to the people of the Philippines.”
Air Force’s role in Operation PHILIPPINES ASSIST centred largely on C-130J Hercules transport flights throughout the Philippines. The aircraft and crew were supported by personnel specialising in air movements, aircraft security, air traffic control and aero-medical evacuation. A Combat Support Element forward deployed to Ormoc on the island of Leyte to provide airfield operations support for humanitarian aid delivery.
Over five weeks, Air Force conducted over 250 flights, transporting more than five million pounds of cargo by C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster III aircraft, which included relief supplies and medical aid. The cargo weight is the equivalent of over 1000 family sized cars. The aircraft also transported more than 5800 passengers, including more than 3500 internally displaced people throughout the Philippines.
The Australian Defence Force initiated Operation PHILIPPINES ASSIST following a request for support from the Philippine Government and commitment from the Australian Government to provide assistance.
Imagery of Air Force involvement in Operation PHILIPPINES ASSIST can be downloaded from the Air Force Image Gallery at: http://bit.ly/1kPYpnY.
Video of Air Force involvement in Operation Philippines Assist can be found on the Air Force Video Portal at: http://bit.ly/IQzDbH.
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999