The Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) have together delivered a water purification plant from New Zealand to Tuvalu to help alleviate seriously depleted supplies of fresh water.
An RAAF C‑17A aircraft from RAAF’s Amberley-based Number 36 Squadron collected a water purification plant from New Zealand and delivered it to Samoa, where a NZDF C‑130 aircraft will make several flights to shuttle the equipment to Tuvalu.
The RAAF C‑17A departed New Zealand at 9:35 (EDST) today, and landed this afternoon at Apia in Samoa at 1:20 (EDST).
The ADF is working closely with AusAID and the New Zealand Government to respond to a request for assistance from the Government of Tuvalu.
Tuvalu does not have a runway large enough to support C‑17 aircraft movement so the ADF will deliver the equipment to Samoa, from where the NZDF can move smaller loads of the equipment into Tuvalu.
“An integral part of Australia’s air mobility capability, the RAAF’s C‑17A fleet has delivered essential heavy-lift air service to a number of humanitarian assistance missions since the first aircraft was delivered to the ADF in 2006,” Air Marshal Geoff Brown, Chief of Air Force, said.
This year, the RAAF C‑17A has provided support to Queensland and Victoria following floods in both States.
It also provided heavy-lift capability to New Zealand following an earthquake in Christchurch and more recently provided assistance to Japan following this year’s earthquake and tsunami.
“This most recent humanitarian assistance activity demonstrates the close relationship between the ADF and NZDF,” Air Marshal Brown said.
“Our interoperability also demonstrates how our countries can work quickly to support humanitarian assistance activities in the region.”
On 14 September, the Minister for Defence took delivery of RAAF’s fifth C‑17A at Boeing’s Long Beach production facility near Los Angeles.
On 23 September, the Minister announced that Australia had sent a Letter of Request to the United States regarding the potential purchase of an additional C‑17A, which would give the Australian Government increased options to support a wider range of contingencies that might require heavy-lift aircraft, such as this.
For more information about the C‑17A go to: http://www.airforce.gov.au/Aircraft/globemaster.aspx
Ministerial Support and Public Affairs,
Department of Defence,