News story

RAF flies UK relief supplies into Vanuatu

A Royal Air Force aircraft carrying shelter and lighting from the UK has landed in Vanuatu in support of the international aid effort to the cyclone-hit Pacific islands.

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The C-17 Globemaster arrived at 2pm local time today (Thursday), carrying 1,640 shelter kits which can house families of five people and more than 1,900 solar lanterns with inbuilt mobile phone chargers.

The Department for International Development (DfID) supplies will help protect some of the most vulnerable people affected by the cyclone, especially women and children.

An RAF spokesperson said:

All of the RAF crew and support personnel out here are delighted to be able help the people of the region alongside our international partners. Similar to our recent humanitarian mission to the Philippines, the RAF has been able to respond rapidly to support DfID in helping people in need.

In just a few days we have deployed from the UK to the other side of the world and delivered vital aid to the Red Cross for distribution. We are now fully integrated within the international effort and look forward to assisting as much as we can over the coming days.

RAF C-17 fleet aircraft previously provided humanitarian assistance during the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, as well as the Pakistan and Chilean earthquakes and the Philippines disaster zone.

The aircraft are capable of rapid delivery of troops and all types of cargo around the world. It can carry out steep approaches at relatively slow speeds, meaning it can operate into small, austere airfields as short as 3,500 feet long and only 90 feet wide.

Published 19 March 2015