Australian search-and-rescue specialists head to Türkiye

An Australian urban search-and-rescue team is on its way to Türkiye on board a Royal Australian Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, which departed RAAF Base Richmond on 10 February.

CAPTION: Cargo is loaded onto a Royal Australian Air Force C-17 Globemaster as part of the Australian Government’s response to the earthquakes and aftershocks in Türkiye and Syria. Story by Flight Lieutenant Dean Squire. Photo by Corporal Dan Pinhorn.

As the death toll continues to rise following the devastating earthquakes, the need for specialist rescue workers couldn’t be more pressing to find those still trapped beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings.

In the cargo hold of the aircraft are 72 urban search-and-rescue specialists from the AUS 2 Disaster Assistance Response Team.

Team leader Chief Superintendent Darryl Dunbar said the scale of the disaster was unheralded.

“Our team are trained to deal with what we’ll face in Türkiye,” Chief Superintendent Dunbar said.

“We’re unsure what we will find at first but will do our best to support the people of Türkiye in their hour of need.”

The AUS 2 team members are based in NSW and include medical, engineering and search-and-rescue specialists.

They are travelling with 24 tonnes of supplies to sustain themselves and therefore not draw on limited resources in Türkiye.

The deployment of the AUS 2 team comes after the Turkish Government requested the provision of search-and-rescue and emergency medical teams to join their response to the disaster.

The AUS 2 team faces some significant challenges.

“It’s all about the casualties on the scene, and that will be our focus.

“The environment will present problems – it’s cold and buildings are in a dangerous state,” Chief Superintendent Dunbar said.

“We will find solutions to any challenges we face.

“That’s what we train for, and our team is prepared.”


CAPTION: Urban search and rescue specialists from NSW prepare to board the C-17 Globemaster headed for Türkiye and Syria. Photo by Corporal Dan .


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