News Release - Canada’s DART completes its mission in the Philippines

NR - 13.412 - December 16, 2013

OTTAWA — The Government of Canada announced today that the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) has completed its humanitarian assistance mission in the Philippines and is currently planning for redeployment to Canada.

The decision to depart was made in consultation with the Philippines government and the United Nations. Philippine authorities have expressed their gratitude to Canada, along with other nations, some of which have already commenced the hand over of relief efforts to the Philippine military, local government authorities and civilian aid organizations. The Government of the Philippines has also confirmed that their requirements for the relief phase have been met, and civilian partners and the local government are now positioned to attend to the remaining needs of the population. The mission is now one of long term reconstruction and it is one in which Canada will continue to play a role.

From the very beginning, Canada played a leading role in relief efforts, launching a rapid and robust response that provided immediate assistance to the people and the Government of the Philippines,” said the Hon. Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence. “The Government of Canada deployed personnel and equipment within days of Typhoon Haiyan’s devastation, which helped alleviate distress while also assisting local authorities and non-governmental organizations to reach individuals affected by the storm.

Task Force Philippines, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) contribution to Government of Canada relief efforts in the Philippines, included more than 315 CAF personnel with a range of specialities:

  • Engineering to assist in clearing debris, opening roads, re-establishing electricity, remediating washouts and assessing structures such as bridges;
  • Water purification to produce clean drinking water;
  • Mobile medical teams to treat injuries and identify potential sites for assistance;
  • Helicopter pilots and crew to extend the reach of personnel to isolated areas and provide reconnaissance and assistance as required;
  • Air transport and maintenance crews;
  • Logistics to support the delivery of humanitarian supplies and the daily operations of Task Force Philippines; and
  • Liaison officers (CAF personnel of Filipino descent) to act as vital links between local authorities, international aid agencies and CAF members.

Over the course of their deployment, CAF personnel produced 493 346 litres of purified water available for distribution, treated 6 525 medical patients, cleared over 131 kilometres of roads and delivered 230 485 pounds of food and humanitarian assistance goods on behalf of non-governmental organizations and local authorities.

Our DART personnel deployed to the Philippines to enable the delivery of humanitarian assistance and to work alongside Government of Canada partners, local authorities and other international organizations and agencies as they grew their capacity to provide medium to longer-term disaster recovery,” said Lieutenant-General Stu Beare, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command. “Conditions on the ground have improved and we are beginning to withdraw Canadian Armed Forces personnel and equipment from the region while the Government of the Philippines, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, and non-governmental organizations carry on with reconstruction efforts.

The DART provided a unique, rapidly deployable capability that enabled the CAF to bridge the gap and provide emergency relief on Panay Island until local authorities and international aid partners were able to focus on and coordinate recovery and reconstruction efforts. This multidisciplinary military organization was deployed to the Philippines via three CAF CC-177 Globemaster III aircraft that operated nearly continuously between November 11 and 30. During the mission, the Globemasters transported approximately 750 000 pounds of payload to ensure the DART was able to respond appropriately to the crisis.

Initial reconnaissance elements of the DART were first deployed to the Philippines with the Interdepartmental Strategic Support Team (ISST) on November 10, as part of Canada’s Whole of Government response to the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan. Over the course of the next two weeks, DART personnel will return to Canada, with some equipment taking longer to return.

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 of Canada’s toolkit to respond to natural disasters abroad.

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Note to Editors:   

For information on Operation RENAISSANCE 13-01, please consult the following backgrounder on Operation RENAISSANCE 13-1.

Video B-roll and still imagery of the DART deployment to the Philippines is available for media download at forcesimages.ca