Air Force crews deliver the goods where they’re needed most
12 December 2013
Since 13 November Air Force C-130J Hercules crews have been getting aid to the people of the Philippines where it is needed most.
Flying in and out of small airfields in areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, aircrew and ground staff have been loading and unloading, sometimes by hand, thousands of tonnes of life-saving aid.
It is just not aid supplies on board – they’ve flown the Australian Medical Assistance Team to help the people of Tacloban and flown out thousands of local people whose lives have been devastated by the super storm.
Flight Lieutenant Christian Yates-Round is one of a small but dedicated team of men and women who’ve been flying day in, day out, since the typhoon passed through the central Philippines.
“I’m just up here to do whatever is required from the operational standpoint. Moving people, food, water, supplies, medical supplies, whatever needs to be moved gets moved,” he said.
At Ormoc Airport an Air Force load team from Darwin has been handing over hundreds of tonnes of aid.
Ground crew operator Leading Aircraftwomen Karley Bagley was deployed to Ormoc to help bring aid to where it was needed, sometimes unloading sacks of aid by hand.
“Today we are unloading aid that has come in from the Australian Government. The locals are picking it and delivering it to where it is needed,” she said.
“Its going really well. I’m actually really enjoying it. It’s very different to back home.”
She said she was full of admiration for the people of the Philippines and happy to help out.
“It just has been fantastic working with them. It’s quite heartbreaking to see what they’ve been going through but its quite rewarding. They are amazing people.”
Flight Lieutenant Yates-Round also said he was enjoying helping others who needed assistance.
“It’s great to take part in an operation and have a direct impact on people’s lives that have been devastated, so from that standpoint it is sensational to bring stuff in and to provide immediate change for them,” Flight Lieutenant Yates-Round said.
In near constant operations since 13 November the C-130J team has moved more than 1900 tonnes of aid and more than 3000 internally displaced people.