Speech Article from  National Defence and the Canadian Forces

Minister's Speech - Remarks on Deployment of Disaster Assistance Response Team

November 12, 2013

Toronto, ON

Our Government is deeply concerned by the impact of Typhoon Haiyan and will join international efforts to provide support and assistance to humanitarian relief and stabilization efforts in the Philippines.

The Canadian Armed Forces will support the Department of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Development, who are leading our Government’s response to Typhoon Haiyan.

In addition to financial support in the form of a $5 million contribution as well as a commitment to match every dollar donated by Canadians, the Prime Minister has directed the deployment of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to the region.

The Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) is a capability of the Canadian Joint Operations Command, and is comprised of military assets and personnel held at high readiness.

They are prepared to conduct emergency relief operations and their skills, equipment and supplies will be helpful to the evolving situation in the Philippines.

Canada’s Interdepartmental Strategic Support Team (ISST) is currently in the Philippines to assess needs on the ground.

The ISST is led by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development and includes personnel from the Canadian Armed Forces.

We have prepositioned the DART team in the region in anticipation of recommendations from the assessment team on how best to assist the Government and people of the Philippines.

It is composed of 43 CAF members including medical, logistical and engineering personnel. 

The DART team is equipped with three vehicles:

  • One Light Support Vehicle Wheeled (LSVW) Command Post – (i.e. a truck with radios for the command staff of the DART);
  • One LSVW Ambulance - this vehicle, along with a mobile medical team will be able to provide a basic level of medical support to people in the Philippines.
  • The medical teams is composed of one Medical officer, one preventative medical technician, and two medical technicians form a Mobile Medical Team that provides that care; and
  • A Rough Terrain Fork Lift (RTFL) - to unload/move equipment. They also brought supplies and equipment, including: food and water, shelters, hand tools, generators, etc., to sustain operations; and communications and geomatics equipment

The DART can act as a stabilization measure immediately after the emergency phase to bridge the gap until civilian actors are in a position to provide long-term assistance. 

The DART works alongside local authorities, non-governmental organizations and international agencies until regular services are restored.

In the past, the DART has been a key contributor of assistance in the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, and the 1999 earthquake in Turkey.

With their expertise and knowledge, the DART will play an important role in remediating the effects of the disaster, by offering medical aid, engineering and logistics support, and perhaps most importantly, safe drinking water. 

Our men and women in uniform have done much to uphold our rich tradition and record of helping when disaster strikes at home or wherever in the world.

Our thoughts are with the people of the Philippines.

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