RAF Odiham personnel deployed to help typhoon victims

Basingstoke Gazette: The aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. The aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

SERVICEMEN from RAF Odiham have deployed to the Philippines to support the disaster relief mission following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.

The four men from Joint Helicop-ter Support Squadron are working with the UK Department for Inter-national Development, on its humanitarian and disaster relief mission.

They deployed on November 19, flying directly to Singapore to board HMS Illustrious. After loading 500 tons of humanitarian aid on to the ship, they set sail for the Philippines on November 22 before arriving on November 24, where they took over from HMS Daring.

The team are Flight Lieutenant Ian Rees, mobile air operations team leader Corporal Wellesley Houghton, senior aircraftsman Graeme Ardley, and Private Callum Sanderson.

They assisted with a number of reconnaissance flights on islands north west of the main island of Panay, before heading north east.

Flt Lt Rees and Cpl Houghton deployed on to the ground with assessment teams, accompanied by a specialist from the Department for International Development, who provided information on the requirements of the population.

Within the first 72 hours, 70 tonnes of aid was distributed. The team and HMS Illustrious will continue to visit further island clusters around the central Philippine island of Panay to assess the needs of the local communities and provide vital assistance.

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