SINGAPORE - 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 on Friday (Sept 8).
The RSAF worked closely with the Texas Army National Guard during their 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.
He said: "On behalf of the Texas Army National Guard and thousands of Texans in our community, I thank you very much. Not just for your skilled aviation abilities, but also your willingness to deploy with us as quickly as you did."
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 will be returning to their training detachment at Grand Prairie, Texas, on Friday night (Singapore time).
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had offered the services of the four helicopters to United States President Donald Trump during a phone call last week.
Hurricane Harvey, already the biggest rainstorm in the history of the continental US, has left behind disastrous flooding and a death toll that reached more than 60. It has caused damages estimated as high as US$180 billion (S$240 billion).
More than 1.2m of rain over four days had turned Houston, the country's fourth-largest city, into a sea of muddy brown water.