Last night and early this morning, at the request of Japan and the United States, two Royal Australian Air Force C‑17 aircraft departed RAAF Pearce near Perth for Yokota Air Base west of Tokyo, carrying equipment to assist Japan’s efforts at the Fukushima No 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
One of the aircraft landed at the Yokota Air Base this morning. The second will arrive later today.
The C‑17s are transporting a remotely operated water cannon system, supplied by the Bechtel Corporation at the request of the United States.
The water cannon system is a series of pumps and trailers that can be remotely manoeuvred into location.
The two C‑17s providing this support are in addition to the RAAF C‑17 already in Japan. The two C‑17s are required due to the size of the water canon system.
One of the C‑17s will return equipment used in Japan by Australia’s Urban Search and Rescue Team in Japan to Australia.
Last night I spoke to Japanese Defense Minister Kitazawa to underline Australia’s continuing commitment to the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief response in Japan, including through the provision of RAAF C‑17s.
Mr Kitazawa expressed Japan’s appreciation for Australia’s friendship.
The Chief of Defence Force and I will continue to review Australia’s Operation PACIFIC ASSIST commitment in close consultation with our Japanese and US partners.
Mr Smith’s Office: (02) 6277 7800 Department: (02) 6127 1999
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