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8 Wing deploys DART to typhoon ravaged Philipines

Checking the facts - Col. Lowthian and 8 Wing Operations Officer Lt.-Col Christian Roy listen as Maj. Gen. Ferron as he discusses the final details of the trip with them just prior to takeoff Wednesday night. Photo Ross Lees

Checking the facts – Col. Lowthian and 8 Wing Operations Officer Lt.-Col Christian Roy listen as Maj. Gen. Ferron as he discusses the final details of the trip with them just prior to takeoff Wednesday night.
Photo Ross Lees

By Ross Lees
Disaster Assistance Response team (DART) members continued to deploy from 8 Wing Trenton Wednesday night to help the typhoon-ravaged Philippines.

Destined to touch down in the city of Iloilo in the Philippines, the CC-177 Globemaster III aircraft was loaded with Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel and an assortment of equipment to help out with the humanitarian operation, according to Major General Jim Ferron, Commanding Officer of the 1st Canadian Division based in Kingston, Ontario.

“We need to get some engineering capability in there to start clearing away some of the rubble so that we can bring in some of our medical assets, so we’re bringing a group of engineers with a command and control capability to set those conditions we need to really get this job done,” he noted as the flight was preparing for takeoff around 9 p.m. Wednesday night.

Sixty CAF personnel from all across Canada were loaded on the aircraft with equipment and Maj. Gen. Ferron said Canadians can be proud of the response of their men and women in uniform who came forward to get this effort under way.

He said the Canadian Armed Forces would continue to move personnel and equipment into the storm-damaged country to solidify the plan currently in place.

“I recognize that you can never be fast enough for an operation like this, but we’re putting in place the mechanism so that we get in. We’re prepared and we’ll truly make a difference to the Philipine people,” he said.

The DART is a multidisciplinary military organization designed to deploy on short notice anywhere in the world in response to situations ranging from natural disasters to complex humanitarian emergencies. It is one component in Canada’s toolkit to respond to natural disasters abroad.

The DART is equipped to conduct emergency relief operations for up to approximately 40 days to bridge the gap until national and international aid agencies can arrive to provide long-term help. Working alongside local authorities and other international organizations and agencies, DART acts as a stabilization measure until regular services are restored. Mobility of the DART is supported by the CC-177 Globemaster III, which helps provide everything from the rapid delivery of troops and cargo transport to oversized equipment anywhere in the world.

Maj. Gen. Ferron, 8 Wing Commander Col. David Lothian, and 8 Wing Operations Officer, Lt.-Col. Christian Roy, were all at the tarmac and in the deploying aircraft to meet with the men and women in uniform responding to the crisis success.
“They’re very motivated to get going and I was just so proud of them as we put them on board,” Maj. Gen. Ferron stated. “There’s a medical crisis there and one of the areas we hope to make a difference is in the provision of fresh water, so we’re bringing in our reverse osmosis water purification units (ROWPU) to do some of that work with the engineers clearing the way and then (we will be) bringing a very focused medical team in to start helping out in some of the areas that really need the help.”

While onboard the aircraft to speak to the departing personnel, Maj. Gen. Ferron pointed to a large front-end loader and said, “That baby will make a big difference.”

Documenting the exercise - Maj. Gen. Jim Ferron, Commanding Officer of the 1st Canadian Division based in Kingston, observes as a responding DART team member photographs some other members while standing in front of a huge front-end loader which Maj. Gen. Ferron thinks will make a big difference in the Phillipines. Photo Ross Lees

Documenting the exercise – Maj. Gen. Jim Ferron, Commanding Officer of the 1st Canadian Division based in Kingston, observes as a responding DART team member photographs some other members while standing in front of a huge front-end loader which Maj. Gen. Ferron thinks will make a big difference in the Philipines.
Photo Ross Lees

 

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