Stephen Smith MP
Minister for Defence
Last night and early this morning, at the request of Japan and the United States, two Royal Australian Air Force C-17 aircraft departed RAAF Pearce near Perth for Yokota Air Base west of Tokyo, carrying equipment to assist Japan’s efforts at the Fukushima No 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
One of the aircraft landed at the Yokota Air Base this morning. The second will arrive later today.
The C-17s are transporting a remotely operated water cannon system, supplied by the Bechtel Corporation at the request of the United States.
The water cannon system is a series of pumps and trailers that can be remotely manoeuvred into location.
The two C-17s providing this support are in addition to the RAAF C-17 already in Japan. The two C-17s are required due to the size of the water canon system.
One of the C-17s will return equipment used in Japan by Australia's Urban Search and Rescue Team in Japan to Australia.
Last night I spoke to Japanese Defense Minister Kitazawa to underline Australia’s continuing commitment to the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief response in Japan, including through the provision of RAAF C-17s.
Mr Kitazawa expressed Japan’s appreciation for Australia’s friendship.
The Chief of Defence Force and I will continue to review Australia’s Operation PACIFIC ASSIST commitment in close consultation with our Japanese and US partners.
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