SAF deploys aircraft to support relief efforts for Australian flood victims

RSAF CH-47F Chinook helicopters taking off from the Army Aviation Training Centre in Queensland to help with flood relief efforts, on March 7, 2022. PHOTO: MINDEF
Torrential rains in Queensland and New South Wales since last month have led to submerged roads and power outages. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has deployed two of its helicopters in Australia to support relief efforts for the ongoing deadly floods in the country.

The two CH-47F Chinook helicopters were sent from the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) Oakey detachment in the Australian Army Aviation Training Centre in Queensland, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) on Tuesday (March 8).

The helicopters have been transporting military personnel and emergency supplies to civilians affected by the floods in Queensland and New South Wales since Monday.

Torrential rains in the two states since last month have led to submerged roads with cars swept away by flood waters and power outages, with damage reportedly estimated at A$1.3 billion (S$1.3 billion).

Thousands have had to flee their homes, and at least 20 people have been killed.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has also accepted the SAF's offer of a relief package containing tents, blankets, ready-to-eat meals, water and medical supplies.

"The package will depart from Singapore via an RSAF C-130 aircraft and an RSAF A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport today," said Mindef.

"Australia is one of Singapore's closest defence partners, and Mindef and SAF stand ready to assist the ADF in times of need."

In a Facebook post on Tuesday about the helicopters' deployment, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said: "Australia has supported SAF training for decades. In their time of need, it's only natural that we pitch in to help our kin."

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