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Air Force To Airlift Stranded NZers

Media Release

3 December 2008

Air Force To Airlift Stranded NZers

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A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130H Hercules



A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130H Hercules has departed Brisbane, 12.45pm local time, bound for Malaysia where it will remain on standby to evacuate New Zealanders from Thailand.

The aircraft left Air Force Base Whenuapai yesterday evening at 8.30pm and is due to arrive in Kuala Lumpur in the early hours of 4 December.

The task will involve two aircrews, plus medical and air movements personnel to allow it to operate continuously once in theatre.

Air Component Commander Air Commodore Gavin Howse said the aircraft will deploy into the region and await Government direction to initiate the evacuation task.

"Once in Malaysia, the C130 will be poised to undertake a number of trips into Thailand to evacuate New Zealand nationals. Our crews are trained to work in fluid environments, and should this evacuation task be directed, our crews will be ready and able."

The New Zealand Defence Force is working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to coordinate the details of an evacuation and are monitoring the situation closely.

Caption for image AK 07-0106-16..


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