RAAF: Defence completes airlift mission in South Sudan

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has completed its mission to deliver strategic airlift support to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) after a recent outbreak in violence.

On 12 January, a RAAF C-130J Hercules aircraft completed the last flight in support of peacekeeping after delivering equipment and transporting United Nations personnel to assist UNMISS.

RAAF personnel carried out a total of eight C-17A Globemaster flights and two C-130J Hercules flights to deliver approximately 200 tonnes of cargo and equipment to the UNMISS since 3 January.

Director General of Air and Space Operations, Air Commodore Gavin Turnbull, said the Air Force personnel had worked tirelessly and efficiently after first responding to the United Nations request on 26 December 2013.

“Following a request from the United Nations for strategic airlift support, the Australian Defence Force assigned a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster and a C-130J Hercules to move United Nations equipment into Juba, South Sudan,” Air Commodore Turnbull said.

“Our first C-17 left Australia on Boxing Day and completed its first mission on 3 January. Overall, the C-17s carried out eight flights from Brindisi, Italy and Djibouti to deliver more than 175 tonnes of equipment.

“The C-130J Hercules aircraft carried out two flights into Juba via Monrovia in Liberia and Yaounde in Cameroon, carrying United Nations personnel and equipment for the United Nations.

“The first Hercules flight arrived in Juba on 11 January carrying six Nepalese police officers and cargo and the second flight arrived on 12 January with United Nations cargo to support peacekeeping operations,” Air Commodore Turnbull said.

Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Ash Power, praised all personnel for their efforts in supporting the United Nations request for assistance.

“Each year our personnel are required to sacrifice their traditional holiday period and assist with a task either at home or somewhere else in the world where our capability and expertise is needed,” Lieutenant General Power said.

“Australian personnel deployed to Operation SLIPPER at Al Minhad Air Base also provided valuable logistical and technical support to ensure the mission could be carried out successfully.”

The C-17 Globemaster is currently returning to Australia and the C-130J Hercules aircraft will return to Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates in support of Operation SLIPPER. RAAF operates a fleet of six C-17 Globemasters based at Amberley near Brisbane.


Source / Author: RAAF

Photo: RAAF