Australia — RAAF C‑17 working with New Zealand to deliver aid

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:

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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