Stephen Smith MP
Minister for Defence
Today, at the request of Japan and the United States, I have approved a week's extension of the Australian Defence Force’s support to relief efforts in Japan under Operation PACIFIC ASSIST.
ADF personnel and their Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster have been providing much needed airlift support to Japan and the requested extension of their mission highlights the highly valued work they have been performing in difficult circumstances.
The extension underlines Australia’s continuing commitment to the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief response in Japan and our close bilateral relationship.
Australia’s support to Japan at this critical time is an important reaffirmation of the comprehensive Australia-Japan strategic, security and economic partnership.
Our C-17A has been working closely with the United States Forces Japan Air Operations Command. This has highlighted the growing strength and capability of our trilateral relationship. It is a practical demonstration of Australia-Japan-United States trilateral strategic cooperation and the benefit this can provide to the region in responding to an emergency situation of this size.
Australia and the United States are the only two countries providing C-17A military airlift assistance internally within Japan in support of the crisis response.
Australia is entitled to be proud of the high praise our small team of Australian Defence Force personnel currently working in Japan are receiving.
The Chief of Defence Force and I will continue to review the Operation PACIFIC ASSIST commitment in close consultation with our Japanese and US partners.
Mr Smith’s Office: Andrew Porter (02) 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392
Department: (02) 6127 1999 or 0408498 664
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