SINGAPORE: The four Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) CH-47 Chinook helicopters from its Peace Prairie detachment in Grand Prairie, Texas have arrived on site to assist in the US' Hurricane Harvey disaster relief operations, Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said on Thursday (Aug 31).
Record rains and flooding in the wake of Harvey have killed at least 25 and driven tens of thousands from their homes.
In a press release, the Defence Ministry said the helicopters arrived at 6.50am (Singapore time) on Thursday to help with the Texas Army National Guard’s relief efforts.
The ministry added that the Chinooks and personnel are in Temple city, which is about three hours from Houston.
The RSAF Chinooks will transport evacuees as well as deliver equipment and supplies, MINDEF said.
A total of 34 RSAF personnel from the Peace Prairie detachment, comprising pilots, aircrew and engineers, have been deployed for this mission, it added.
According to the ministry, the RSAF’s Peace Prairie detachment has worked together with the Texas Army National Guard in the past, including relief operations after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, fire-fighting and flood relief operations in Texas in 2000, and Hurricane Floyd relief operations in North Carolina in 1999.
The latest effort follows the acceptance of Singapore’s offer of assistance by US President Donald Trump, the Defence Ministry said.
Singapore's offer of assistance was conveyed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday when he spoke to US President Donald Trump on the phone while the latter was en route to Texas.
Mr Lee said this was a "small gesture to express our appreciation and gratitude to the US and in particular the State of Texas, which have been good hosts for our Peace Prairie detachment", according to a MINDEF news release.