The C-17 aircraft left RAF Brize Norton for the Philippines to deliver emergency supplies for the Department for International Development.
The load, which left early this morning, consists of key logistical equipment such as 4-wheel-drive vehicles to help in the distribution of aid, JCBs to assist in the clearance of debris and with reconstruction, and much needed emergency medical supplies.
Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development, said:
Britain’s deployment of the RAF Boeing C-17 is a huge boost in our ability to get large amounts of kit and aid over to the people of the Philippines almost 7,000 miles away.
Its first flight from RAF Brize Norton is a vital part of our efforts there, delivering JCB fork-lifts and diggers, 4x4 Land Rovers and cutting and other equipment to help reopen roads and clear the way to hard-to-reach areas.
This C-17 flight is one of a raft of shipments this week delivering DFID-funded food, water, shelter, medicine and other bare essentials to where they are needed.
The C-17 Globemaster, known as ‘the large workhorse of the RAF’, does the majority of the vital heavy lift work to sustain the UK’s forces overseas and currently offers continuous support to our forces in Afghanistan.
The C-17 can fly for more than 4,500 nautical miles meaning it can fly directly from the UK to the Middle East and then, with a brief stop, proceed to the Far East carrying up to 45 tonnes of freight which equates to approximately 20 4-wheel-drive vehicles.
Group Captain Stephen Lushington, RAF Brize Norton Station Commander, said:
Since being brought into service the C-17 has provided a step-change in the Royal Air Force’s air mobility capability.
As well as being deployed around the world supporting UK operations, it continues to demonstrate its utility in providing swift humanitarian and disaster relief assistance, demonstrating speed, reach and flexibility in getting what is needed to where it is needed.
I am immensely proud of the contribution that Royal Air Force Brize Norton personnel are making to the relief effort in the Far East; the RAF will remain on call to support UK relief efforts whenever required.
Find out more about how the UK is helping people devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.