Singapore and its military have been providing continued aid to the firefighting efforts in Australia as the nation grapples with horrifically devastating bushfires that have killed 25 people, destroyed thousands of homes and killed hundreds of thousands of animals and razing millions of hectares of land.
On Tuesday (7 Jan), Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen revealed that two Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Chinooks departed from Oakey, Australia with 42 Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) personnel ready to work alongside the Australian Defence Force in their relief efforts at the Royal Australian Air Force Base East Sale, Victoria.
Singapore’s Chinooks will provide firefighting and relief supplies and also help evacuate residents from the affected areas.
Expressing concern for the situation in Australia, Dr Ng said: “As a small city state, it’s hard for us to imagine the massive scale of the destruction wrought by the bushfires in Australia. Still raging, the bushfires have already destroyed more than 6 million hectares – 80 Singapores! – and killed half a billion animals, not to mention the tragic loss of human lives.”
He added: “Australia has welcomed SAF troops to train there for decades, and in their time of great need, it’s only natural that the SAF do our best to help their people and communities affected by this unexpected natural disaster.”
Australians have praised Singapore for extending a helping hand during their time of need. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison thanked Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a press conference held on Monday (6 Jan), besides expressing his appreciation for Singapore’s aid on social media:
As a small city state, it’s hard for us to imagine the massive scale of the destruction wrought by the bushfires in…