RSAF completes Harvey relief mission

The four Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) CH-47 Chinook helicopters deployed to Temple, Texas, for Hurricane Harvey relief operations have completed their mission, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement yesterday.

The RSAF worked closely with the Texas Army National Guard during its nine-day deployment to transport personnel and essential supplies such as food, water and equipment.

Texas Army National Guard State Aviation Officer, Colonel Ronald Burkett, met the deployed RSAF personnel and thanked them for their contributions to the relief operations.

The RSAF's Peace Prairie Detachment commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Howe Siong Sen, said regular bilateral training between the Peace Prairie Detachment and the Texas Army National Guard allowed the RSAF to "support seamlessly and contribute meaningfully towards the disaster relief efforts".

The 34 RSAF personnel returned to their training detachment at Grand Prairie, Texas, last night.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had offered the services of the four helicopters to US President Donald Trump during a phone call last week.

Hurricane Harvey, already the worst rainstorm in the history of the continental US, caused massive flooding and killed more than 60 people. Damage has been estimated at up to US$180 billion (S$241 billion).

More than 1.2m of rain over four days turned Houston, the fourth-largest city in the United States, into a sea of muddy brown water.

Lydia Lam

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2017, with the headline 'RSAF completes Harvey relief mission'. Print Edition | Subscribe