The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed C-17s and a C-130J from Darwin to transport a medical assistance team to the Philippines to give support following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.
The aircraft will transport the civilian medical team and 22 tonnes of associated equipment to Mactan Air Field on Cebu. Once in Cebu the C-130J Hercules will transfer the medical team to Tacloban. The aircraft departed on Wednesday following confirmation of an operating location for the medical team at Tacloban airport.
The C-17s and C-130J will be supported by a RAAF mobile air load team, an aircraft security operations team and aeromedical evacuation specialists.
“The RAAF’s C-17A Globemasters provide an experienced and important capability when responding to disasters in our region. Sadly, our ability to respond rapidly has been called on in tragic circumstances in recent years to support missions following the tsunami in Japan and the Christchurch earthquake,” Defence Minister David Johnston said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is deploying crisis response specialists and consular staff with the AusMAT team into the worst affected areas. This will include an additional two rapid response personnel to support humanitarian assistance, and two emergency response officers to assist the Australian embassy in Manila.