Operation PATWIN – A Thank You from the Phillipines

Am surprised this hasn’t received wider coverage (perhaps it has and I have missed it)

Senior officials from the Philippines have thanked the team in charge of the UK Armed Forces’ month-long response to the typhoon which devastated their islands last year. The Royal Navy – spearheaded by HMS Daring and Illustrious – and the RAF in particular played a key role in delivering aid and providing help last November and December.

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/News-and-Events/Latest-News/2014/April/22/140422-Philippines-thank-UK”]

Some interesting points in the linked article, the RAF delivered 220 tonnes and the RN delivered 70 tonnes of aid.

Hang on, surely that is a mistake :)

 

 

 

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Topman
Topman
April 30, 2014 9:06 am

@ TD

You trying to put the cat amongst the pigeons ? ;)

Tom
Tom
April 30, 2014 9:38 am

Naughty boy TD. You’ll get them all worked up.

Observer
Observer
April 30, 2014 10:06 am

MEOW!!! :)

It’s all politics.

I believe I mentioned the fact that we had an LST parked next door in Australia prepped for, guess what? A HA/DR exercise and another sitting as a Navy exhibit outside a shopping mall which could have mobilized in a day or 2. So instead of doing the HA/DR for real, they had to make do with a simulated exercise off Australia because the Philippines government did not accept the aid that was offered. If they could afford to pick and choose aid, were they really in that troubled straits?

dave haine
dave haine
April 30, 2014 12:02 pm

I was going to take the piss out of the dark blue crew about their contempt for air transport heavy lift, but I shan’t….

Instead all I shall say is……

230 tonnes?….70tonnes?…….HAH!

Ant
Ant
April 30, 2014 12:13 pm

Seriously, who writes these articles?

From the link:

“Cdre Walker said in addition to the gratitude of Filipinos for Britain’s help, the UK’s response had impressed one of the senior US commanders in the region, Lt Gen John Wissler….

“General Wissler was spellbound by the British response – he saw the hangar on Illustrious bustling with activity. He was struck by how competent and effective the UK’s contribution was.”

Spellbound? Really? It’s funny, but in so eagerly reporting that they have pleased their US big brother, the RN etc could be seen to be suggesting that the USN/USMC – operating unmatched amphib/carrier capability worldwide – are the maritime version of the keystone cops!

Observer
Observer
April 30, 2014 12:45 pm

Ant, it’s best not to expect too much from journalists, if your standards are low, any surprise is a pleasant one.

“Oh you handed in your report in crayon today, such a clever boy!” :P

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu
April 30, 2014 1:11 pm

Gee whiz the Yanks were ‘spellbound’ by the RNs 70 tonnes and the RAF”s 230 tonnes of aid.

They must have been totally ‘mesmerised’ by the 500 ADF personnel supporting operation Philippines Assist and the RAAFs C17 and C-130J aircraft that moved more than 5,000,000 lbs (2,360 tonnes) of cargo and more than 5,800 passengers (including 3,500 internally displaced persons).

Not to mention HMAS Tobruk’s 110 tonnes of humanitarian aid or Australian Army engineers from 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment who cleaned-up and repaired 16 schools allowing 15,500 students to return to classes.

Still Australia only gave $40 million in aid for the recovery effort. Not sure if that was included in, or on top of, the $136.9 million in aid to the Philippines in 2013-2013.

Reminds me of that old story of St Peter giving a tour of heaven to a new arrival at the Pearly Gates. As he’s walking around he’s introducing him to each of the locations for the different different world religions and saying G’day. (You’ll just have to imagine St Peter’s Australian accent).

Soon they arrive at a very high wall and the newcomer asks St Peter what’s on the other side of the wall? St Peter says shhhh! Its the (insert religion of your choice – Protestants, Catholics etc.). They think they are the only ones here!

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
April 30, 2014 1:41 pm

@Oscar Zulu…The collapse of journalistic standards in these parts owe much to a chap from your neck of the woods…we’d send him back, but he has since moved on…

GNB

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu
April 30, 2014 1:59 pm

GNB

If you are talking about old Rupert, he’s now a US citizen so we don’t have any claim to him any more.

But if it’s another antipodean miscreant you mean you’re welcome to keep him.

After all its only fair – you sent a few our way a century or two ago.

Ant
Ant
April 30, 2014 2:06 pm

Oi! There are two of us!
And I thought I was unique and special.

Dunservin
Dunservin
April 30, 2014 3:21 pm

@TD

“Some interesting points in the linked article, the RAF delivered 220 tonnes and the RN delivered 70 tonnes of aid.

Hang on, surely that is a mistake.”

– Well done for drawing attention to this error. HMS Illustrious alone distributed 500 tonnes of relief aid acquired locally in Singapore:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25083802

– All credit to the light blue's 'FedEx R Us' for this joint effort and let's not forget the additional 100 tons or so of skilled RN, RM and Army personnel embarked in the ships. Their abilty to use their own helos and boats to recce, target and provide disaster relief in the worst-hit remote areas added much to the cause and ships’ facilities like workshops and portable generators, pumps, power tools, etc., must have come in handy.

Peter Elliott
April 30, 2014 3:27 pm

Pass the popcorn…

a
a
April 30, 2014 3:29 pm

Ant, Observer: the linked “article” is a press release from the MoD, therefore definitely not written by a journalist! Not sure what the reasons are for the collapse of standards in the PR business…

Observer
Observer
April 30, 2014 4:25 pm

a, a rose by any other name… :)

OZ, I’ve to admit, Australia really contributed a lot to the relief effort, that was my impression half a year back. Not in terms of $$$ but in terms of aid and supplies on the spot.

Some of the $ amounts are a bit skewed when it comes to judging effect because the amount is for “post-reconstruction work”, which may make the giver look generous, but overlooks the basic need of surviving the 1st week first. A school, a hospital and an airport 6 months from now may look impressive in the future, but is nuts all help when it is food, water and tents that is needed now. So the Australian $ contribution may look low, but a large fraction of it is desperately needed items.

Not to mention cost of living may factor into calculations. If I gave 2x as much as you, but food where I’m from costs 2x as much, then technically we gave the same amount of food! Which was one of the points aid groups made when they asked people to donate money instead of items so that they can buy food in the parts of the Philippines untouched by the typhoon instead of back in developed countries. Cheaper, more value for money, in country already.

Mark
Mark
April 30, 2014 4:31 pm

Much as I admire the tone of this post from our leader at high wyc… Sorry TD towers and the enjoyment in watching the dark blue puff out there feathers is always priceless but the article didn’t actually say 70tns of aid it said 70tns of food.

From Dunservin link why did we send are only working aircraft carrier to chase pirates?

mike
mike
April 30, 2014 4:42 pm

@Mark

Helicopters.

They can cover a wider area and are faster at apprehending them, working with allies, it serves as a mother ship. Much like the RFA’s do, why we didn’t send an RFA to do the job, I dont know. Probs because she was to be used in other exercises too.

Very nice effort from all services – then again, for the dark blue crowd, their destroyers aren’t known for carrying a lot of aid ;)

Tom
Tom
May 1, 2014 8:38 am

Mark – The chasing pirates bit was just one (small) part of wider deployment (COUGAR 13?) as is the case with most RN deployments. The big grey war canoes always do a bit on there way to and from the Gulf/IO.

TAS
TAS
May 1, 2014 8:48 am

So who got highest up the wall then?

Is anyone really surprised that strategic airlift shipped in more food than one aircraft carrier? Lucky the runway was clear.

Waylander
Waylander
May 2, 2014 10:27 am

It’s not so much the tonnage amount of aid that matters, it’s that the RN was able to deliver it direct to many isolated island communities like Calagnaan, Panay, Sicagon, Binaluangan, Gigante etc, that would otherwise have had to wait much longer for help to arrive.
https://navynews.co.uk/archive/news/item/9535
I wonder how much of the aid delivered by the RAF’s C-17s actually reached those type of isolated communities?

Mike
Mike
May 2, 2014 1:08 pm

I would say it was a great effort all round, likewise from the Australians and the US. Proving the value of ships on worldwide deployment (the RN does have an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time even with so few ships), and strategic air lift. Contrast that with China who lay claim to waters right up to the Phillippines but did next to nothing and I think I can see why this is nothing but a good news story.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
May 2, 2014 5:53 pm

@Mike – China…as you say…and it is on balance more likely to be the West that finds MH370; also interested to know how much India contributed to either effort…and on an unrelated matter if Brazil will manage to pull it off in respect of the World Cup. I am wondering if rumours of the West making way for the BRICS might be a little premature…even before they are themselves eclipsed by the MINTs… :-)

GNB