Singaporean Air Force Supports Hurricane Relief in Texas

CAMP MABRY, Texas --

Airmen with the Singaporean air force’s Peace Prairie Detachment supported hurricane relief efforts by delivering supplies to Brenham, Texas, Aug. 30, 2017, in support of Joint Task Force Harvey.

Thirty-four members of the Singaporean air force used CH-47 Chinook helicopters to resupply Joint Task Force Harvey personnel with food and water in coordination with the Texas Army National Guard’s 372nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.

The contribution toward Harvey relief efforts reflects an ongoing partnership between Singapore and Texas, according to a statement from the Singaporean defense ministry.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, “This was a small gesture to express our appreciation and gratitude to the U.S., and in particular the state of Texas, which have been good hosts for our Peace Prairie Detachment.”

Crucial Assistance

Texas has hosted the detachment at the Grand Prairie Army Aviation Support Facility in Dallas since the detachment’s inauguration in May 1996. They have trained at the Joint Readiness Training Center and taken part in Exercise Red Flag, and trained alongside Texas National Guardsmen in large-scale emergency response exercises. The airmen put this training to use as they coordinated with the Texas National Guard in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, fire and flood operations in Texas in 2000, and Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

The Singaporean detachment has been fulfilling a crucial role in helping resupplying food and water to service members on the ground, said Army Lt. Col. John Crawson, commander of the Texas Army National Guard’s 36th Sustainment Brigade.

“We have soldiers down in the joint operations area that are relying on our resupply,” Crawson said. “They’re relying on our [meals, ready to eat] and bottled water. And when they begin to get very low on supplies, it’s very crucial that I get them there.”

Crawson said that sling load operations are necessary when flooding prevents effective ground travel. The Singaporean detachment is an ideal partner in these situations, because they frequently rehearse these capabilities with Texas National Guardsmen during their annual training.

“We are extremely grateful for their support and we will continue to ask them to help us out,” Crawson said.