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RNZAF Hercules continues to assist in Fiji

March 2010, C130 Hercules
The C-130 Hercules (AK10-0039-095)

18 March 2010

A C-130 Hercules aircraft from NO 40 Squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force remains in Fiji to assist with delivering aid to areas affected by Cyclone Tomas.

The aircraft will also undertake further reconnaissance missions over some of the islands in the northern part of the Fiji group.

SQN LDR Kavae Tamariki of the RNZAF says,” Local authorities and the Fijian people have been very appreciative of our efforts. We remain in the initial assessment phase so the full extent of the damage is not yet known.

“The Fijian authorities are well organised and proactive in providing support to the outer islands.”

As well as further reconnaissance over affected islands, the C130 will also deliver further aid and humanitarian relief into Labasa today.

“The Air Force crew including ground-based support teams at Nausori Airfield have been working some very long hours to provide support,” says SQN LDR Tamariki.
NZ Defence Force personnel are also working with NZ High Commission staff, local officials and NZAID representatives.

Tom Wilson, First Secretary, NZAID Programme, at the NZ High Commission in Suva says, “We’re working closely with FRANZ partners, France and Australia, and the Fiji authorities, on how best to respond to humanitarian needs following Cyclone Tomas.

“The Mission yesterday allowed us to identify the need for relief supplies on Cikobia and provide valuable information to the authorities in Fiji.”

The RNZAF C-130 will be co-ordinating its reconnaissance flights with an Australian C130 aircraft from the RAAF to ensure as much of the affected areas are covered as quickly as possible.

ENDS

For further information please contact Chris Wright, 04 496 0296.

Background
NO 40 Squadron RNZAF operates five C-130 Hercules and two Boeing 757 200 aircraft. The Squadron is based at Whenuapai and forms the Fixed Wing Transport Force of the New Zealand Defence Force Elements. In 2008/09 the C-130 Hercules fleet flew nearly 2050 hours providing:

  • strategic air transport,
  • tactical air transport,
  • support to the government,
  • support to the NZ Antarctic Programme,
  • disaster relief and humanitarian operations,
  • aeromedical evacuation,
  • civil defence support in NZ and the South Pacific and; VIP air transport.

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