22 Maret 2011
C-17 heavy airlifter of the RAAF (photo : ABC News)
Australia delivers water cannon to Japan
AUSTRALIA is delivering a special, remotely operated water cannon to Japan to help cool the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith said two RAAF C-17 transport aircraft had flown from RAAF Pearce, in Western Australia, carrying the equipment after requests from Japan and the US.
One aircraft had landed at Yokota Air Base this morning, while the second was expected to arrive later in the day.
Mr Smith said the C-17s were transporting the remotely operated water cannon system, supplied by the Bechtel Corporation, at the request of the US.
The system is a series of pumps and trailers that can be remotely manoeuvred into location, he said.
"The two C-17s are required due to the size of the water cannon system," he said.
Mr Smith said the two C-17s were in addition to a RAAF C-17 already in Japan.
One of the C-17s will bring back equipment used in Japan by Australia's Urban Search and Rescue Team.
"Last night, I spoke to Japanese Defence Minister Kitazawa to underline Australia's continuing commitment to the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief response in Japan, including through the provision of RAAF C-17s," he said.
"The Chief of Defence Force and I will continue to review Australia's Operation Pacific Assist commitment in close consultation with our Japanese and US partners."