Australia bush fires: New Zealand, Fiji defence forces head to tackle the blazes

11:27 am on 18 January 2020

The Defence Force is sending more soldiers to help the fight against Australia's deadly bushfires.

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Photo: AFP

This morning, 54 Republic of Fiji Military Force (RFMF) engineers will be transported from Nadi to Australia aboard an NZDF Boeing 757.

The force sent four additional personnel on Thursday in response to a request from Australia for a third Air Loading Team, Defence Minister Ron Mark said.

Mark said the generous offer by Fiji is a further example of Pacific partnerships in action.

He said the Defence Force is also providing a third air loading team to Australia, where 119 personnel - including two health teams and a chaplain - are currently deployed.

A total of 119 NZDF personnel, including health teams and a Chaplain, are deployed to Australia.

Currently, three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters have completed 40 hours of flight time, including 14 missions of personnel and equipment transportation. Also, there are two New Zealand Army Combat Engineer Sections.

The C-130 Hercules transport aircraft has carried 41 passengers and 18098kg of freight, over 12 hours of flight time, since its deployment earlier this month.

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