Minister of National Defence provides update on Canada’s assistance in the Philippines

News Release / November 12, 2013 / Project number: NR - 13.332

OTTAWA – The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls and Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, today met with members of the Toronto Filipino community to update them on Canada’s relief efforts in the Philippines, in response to the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.

Our Government is deeply concerned by the impact of Typhoon Haiyan and has joined international efforts to provide support and assistance to humanitarian relief and stabilization efforts in the Philippines,” said Minister Nicholson.  “An interdepartmental assessment team is now on the ground in Manila, where they are meeting with Philippine Government officials and international representatives to determine where Canada’s help is most needed.

The Interdepartmental Strategic Support Team (ISST), which is the Canadian humanitarian assessment team, is led by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and includes representatives from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

In an effort to close the vast geographic distance and speed up its assistance to those in need, the CAF have already deployed elements of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). This group brings the necessary equipment to quickly establish communications and set the conditions to start operating as soon as the main contingent arrives on the ground.

Our Government is proud of how quickly the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces have responded to meet our Government’s objective of assisting in relief efforts in the Philippines,” said Minister Oliver. “Our Government will continue to work with international partners to determine what is required to meet the urgent needs of the Filipino people.” 

The CAF capabilities dedicated to Canada’s relief efforts remain flexible,” said General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff. “Our goal is to provide the Government of Canada with a range of humanitarian assistance and relief options so that we are able to address areas where the needs are the greatest.

The CAF component of the Government of Canada’s relief efforts so far includes: 

  • 2 DND/CAF personnel as part of the Interdepartmental Strategic Support Team (ISST);
  • A CC-144 Challenger to transport this team to the Philippines;
  • 19 CAF personnel representing the Humanitarian Assistance Reconnaissance Team (HART);
    • The HART deploys to the affected nation with the ISST immediately following a major disaster in order to assist and give advice to the ISST on CAF capabilities and employment. Made up of headquarters staff and a reconnaissance element, the HART liaises with the ISST and the headquarters of Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) in order to prepare for the arrival and employment of follow-on CAF assets.
  • 43 members of the DART, including medical, logistical and engineering personnel, which will eventually prepare for the arrival of the main body and DART capabilities; and 
  • A CC-177 Globemaster to transport the advance element of the DART to the Philippines.
    • The CC-177 helps provide everything from the rapid delivery of troops and cargo transport to oversized combat equipment from coast to coast to coast and to anywhere else worldwide. It has a maximum range of approximately 5,500 nautical miles and can carry a payload of up to 160,000 pounds (72,727 kilograms).

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Note to Editors: 

Video b-roll and still imagery of the Canadian Armed Forces Disaster Assistance Relief Team (DART) preparing to deploy is available for media download at the following sites: