Relief efforts save lives with timely aid to Burma
A QUICK response from Amberley's No. 36 Squadron to last month's Burma relief effort has been praised as having a big impact on those affected by flooding.
The ADF completed its second and final mission into flood-affected Burma with a C-17A Globemaster delivering critical humanitarian aid into Rangoon on August 12.
The ADF began Operation Myanmar Assist in response to a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) request for airlift support on August 7, with the aircraft and personnel departing Darwin on August 9.
The aid delivered included four rescue boats, 1860 tarpaulins, 1800 mosquito nets, 1800 jerry cans and 1000 family support kits, which contained blankets, clothing and hygiene equipment.
Defence Minister Kevin Andrews said the quick response time and provision of vital supplies provided a significant and positive impact for those affected by the flood.
"The C-17A has once again proven to be a fantastic capability for the ADF, delivering a total of 45 tonnes of aid during two flights from Subang in Malaysia to Rangoon," he said.
Mr Andrews said there were 21 ADF and three DFAT personnel assigned to the Burma relief effort.
"The support Australian personnel have received has been first class, from the staff at the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot in Malaysia, to the people and agencies on the ground in Burma, who helped load trucks to ensure the aid was distributed to affected communities as quickly as possible," Mr Andrews said.
"I extend thanks to RAAF personnel from Amberley's No. 36 Squadron for their contribution to the Burma relief effort."
36 Squadron Sqn Ldr Steve Ferguson said the ADF element in Malaysia and Burma performed admirably at such short notice.
"This type of mission is part of our core business and everyone did a great job. The C-17A was perfect for it," Sqn Ldr Ferguson said. "It's a sombre mission so it's not lost on us, but in some small way to be able to help this country on the way back to its recovery in light of what's happened really does give you a personal feeling of pride and you're always very highly motivated for these missions."
The flooding, which occurred in the wake of Cyclone Komen, claimed 103 lives and affected more than one million people.