Goodwill visit by Japanese Hercules to RAAF Base Richmond
13 March 2012
Japan and Australia’s commitment to providing emergency airlift relief in the Asia Pacific region will be reaffirmed with a historic visit to RAAF Base Richmond this week.
For the first time, a Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) C-130H Hercules transport aircraft will fly to Richmond on 14 March.
Group Captain Don Sutherland, Officer Commanding No. 84 Wing, said cooperative visits were vital to the success of future responses to natural disasters in the Asia Pacific region.
“Responding to a natural disaster often requires us to deliver a short notice response and for a sustained period, which makes our relationships with foreign partners so important,” Group Captain Sutherland said.
“This is an opportunity for our Hercules aircrew and maintainers to speak to members of the JASDF, brief each other on our capabilities, fly on our aircraft and understand how each side works.”
“We welcome our Japanese guests to RAAF Base Richmond, and are glad to share with them the extensive experience we have in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief response.”
This three day visit to RAAF Base Richmond comes one year after RAAF C-17A Globemaster transport aircraft provided assistance Japan to in the wake of the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami. Last month, a RAAF C-130H Hercules participated in Exercise Cope North with American Hercules crews, practicing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief response scenarios with Japanese observers.
RAAF Hercules crews have extensive experience in the field of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), assisting both domestic and international responses.The Hercules is suitable for use on small, semi-prepared airstrips with little to no airfield support infrastructure.
In recent years, Australia has used the Hercules extensively on HADR tasking, such as Operations Sumatra Assist (2004-05), PNG Assist (2007), Pedang Assist (2009) and Queensland Assist (2011).
Media Note: RAAF spokespeople are available for interview on request. Imagery of the visit will be posted to http://images.airforce.gov.au from Thursday, 15 March 2012
Eamon Hamilton (Air Lift Group) 0429 868 794
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999