DPM Teo Offers Assistance in Response to the Earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand
Posted: 22 Feb 2011, 2048 hours (Time is GMT +8 hours)

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean has conveyed Singapore's condolences and offer of assistance to the New Zealand government and people as they grapple with the devastation of the earthquake in Christchurch.

In a telephone conversation with the New Zealand Minister of Defence Dr Wayne Mapp this afternoon, Mr Teo offered the assistance of 116 Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) regulars and full-time national servicemen to help with rescue operations and to provide humanitarian aid to victims of the earthquake. The servicemen, from Headquarters Guards, were participating in the annual bilateral exercise in Christchurch, codenamed Exercise Lion Walk, when the earthquake happened. The exercise has since stopped, and all SAF personnel are safe and accounted for.

The New Zealand authorities have accepted Singapore's offers of assistance. Besides the SAF team in New Zealand, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will be flying a 55-member Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) urban search and rescue team and a command team led by Colonel Melvyn Ong, Commander 7 Singapore Infantry Brigade, to assist in the disaster relief efforts. The Singapore contingent will depart from Paya Lebar Airbase in two RSAF C-130s and one KC-135 military aircraft early tomorrow morning.

Last updated on 22 Feb 2011