On August 29, during a phone call with President Trump, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong offered a detachment of Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) CH-47 Chinook helicopters to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The Chinooks and their crew have participated in joint training with the Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG) since 1996. President Trump accepted Singapore’s offer and FEMA was tasked with integrating the assets into the overall response effort.FEMA coordinated closely with the Department of Defense’s Northern Command and the National Guard to ensure smooth integration of the RSAF Chinooks and their Singaporean crews. Longstanding collaboration between the RSAF and the TXARNG led to the RSAF Chinooks flying jointly with the National Guard on Harvey response missions. FEMA is grateful for Singapore’s generous support and partnership on behalf of Hurricane Harvey survivors.
The 34 RSAF personnel and their helicopters logged 30 sorties, transporting National Guard personnel and critical supplies including water and vehicle parts. The sorties helped deliver life-sustaining resources to areas in need. FEMA officials and interagency partners at all levels worked tirelessly to support Texas with the RSAF capabilities.
This mission showed the positive impact that coordinated foreign assistance can have for disaster survivors. Texas State Director for Army Aviation and Safety Colonel Win Burkett wrote concerning the RSAF contributions–“The Government of Singapore has shown once again that they are true friends of Texas.”