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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