Operation PACIFIC ASSIST – Two additional RAAF C-17s deployed

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

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

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