Sulawesi quake: SAF to deploy aircraft to aid reconstruction

The SAF will deploy an RSAF C-130 transport aircraft to Sulawesi for a week, on the request of the Indonesian government to aid in efforts by the Indonesian Armed Forces.
The SAF will deploy an RSAF C-130 transport aircraft to Sulawesi for a week, on the request of the Indonesian government to aid in efforts by the Indonesian Armed Forces.PHOTO: MINDEF

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will be deploying a transport aircraft to Indonesia to support rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts following September's deadly earthquake in Sulawesi.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) C-130 aircraft will be deployed for a week. It is being dispatched on the request of the Indonesian government to aid in efforts by the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said yesterday.

The 7.4-magnitude quake, which struck on Sept 28 and triggered a 3m-high tsunami, left more than 1,200 people dead and some 16,700 displaced.

Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) has said that about 2.4 million people in Donggala and Palu need humanitarian aid.

On Oct 2, two RSAF C-130 transport aircraft were deployed to Indonesia to deliver a relief package, comprising tents, meal rations, bottled water and medical supplies, the Mindef statement said.

The aircraft and crew remained in Indonesia to support the TNI in relief efforts, such as ferrying humanitarian supplies to those who were displaced.

One aircraft returned on Oct 17, while the other returned on Oct 26.

 
 
 

The SAF's contributions underscore the close and longstanding defence relationship between Singapore and Indonesia, Mindef said.

In a separate statement, Mindef said that the Singapore and Indonesian armies have successfully conducted the 30th edition of the flagship bilateral exercise, Exercise Safkar Indopura.

The eight-day exercise, which ended on Monday, was hosted by Indonesia this year.

Chief of Army Brigadier-General Goh Si Hou and Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Army General Mulyono co-officiated at the exercise's closing ceremony in Asembagus, Indonesia, on Monday.

BG Goh said at the closing ceremony that the exercise had achieved its objectives of raising professionalism, strengthening friendships and fostering mutual understanding between the two armies.

"Since its humble beginnings as a map-planning exercise, Exercise Safkar Indopura has evolved to become a full-troop exercise with a battalion-level combined arms live-firing component," he said.

"Today, I am proud to say that Exercise Safkar Indopura is the largest bilateral exercise between the Indonesian Army and the Singapore Army. This is only possible because of the mutual trust and understanding that our armies have developed over the years." Exercise Safkar Indopura was first conducted in 1989.

In addition to bilateral exercises, the Singapore and Indonesian armies also engage in a range of bilateral activities, including visits, professional exchanges and courses.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2018, with the headline 'Sulawesi quake: SAF to deploy aircraft to aid reconstruction'. Print Edition | Subscribe