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Aerial Photos of Samoa Devastation: NZDF

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release
1 October 2009

New Zealand Defence Force Personnel Deploy To Samoa – Release 1


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A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft from No. 40 Sqn arrived in Samoa 09.40am (NZ time) after departing from Whenuapai Air Force Base in the early hours of this morning.



It is carrying NZ Aid, Red Cross and NZDF personnel, medical and relief supplies including emergency shelters to help those affected by the earthquake and subsequent Tsunami.


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The Air Force Orion aircraft, which arrived in the country yesterday, is today carrying out further searches for missing people as well as providing imagery and information to the Governments of Samoa and New Zealand. This will allow authorities to determine the scope of the disaster and provide help to those who need it most.

An Australian Defence Force C 130 Hercules aircraft is preparing to load personnel from the New Zealand Army’s 2nd Land Force Group (2LFG) at Ohakea Air Force Base near Palmerston North and expects to depart for Samoa at approximately 12.30. The Australian plane was already in New Zealand on regular training activities and has been re-tasked as part of both countries response to the Samoan Tsunami.


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“The New Zealand Defence Force, working closely with MFAT and NZ Aid, has been able to deploy quickly using its Air Force assets to carry goods and supplies to the stricken nation. We expect our relief efforts to be ongoing and we will adjust our response as the picture becomes clearer about just what exactly is needed on the ground,“says Acting Air Component Commander Group Captain John Cummings.

“Having the ADF Hercules in NZ yesterday and now available to help, once again highlights the strong working relationship both countries Defence Forces have,” says GP CAPT Cummings.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Samoa and we are doing all we can to help”.

The Royal New Zealand Navy has also placed its amphibious support ship HMNZS CANTERBURY on alert to take part in relief operations.

ENDS

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