Japanese SDF Disaster Relief Activities in the Commonwealth of Australia


In response to the bushfire in the Commonwealth of Australia, the MOD/JSDF dispatched a Japan Disaster Relief (JDR) Team (Japan Self-Defense Forces Units) including two JASDF C-130H Transport Aircraft and approx. 70 personnel to transport firefighters and goods on January 15th, 2020.

The bushfire in Australia has been raging since September 2019 and the damage is spreading.

On January 13th, the Australian Department of Defence informed the MOD that they might submit a request for its assistance. The MOD/JSDF dispatched an investigation team to Australia to gather information on the situation and the need for assistance, and to coordinate with related organizations.

The Australian government submitted the request for assistance on January 14th, and approx. 70 personnel including the JASDF’s 1st Tactical Airlift Wing departed Komaki Air Base on January 15th for RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) Base Richmond in New South Wales, where operations in Australia were based.

The dispatched personnel conducted transportation activities in Edinburgh and King’s Court in eastern Australia, where damage has been significant. There, they conducted air transport of local firefighters and goods.

This is the first time that the MOD/JSDF has conducted international disaster relief activities at the request of Australian government. One of the dispatched personnel told the media, “We received a great deal of support from the Australian Defence Force after the Great East Japan Earthquake, so I want to do my utmost to repay for the support as part of this mission.”

Published by the Japanese Ministry of Defense in its March 2020 issue of Japan Defense Focus.