The Singapore government has deployed helicopters to Texas as part of the country’s offer to help the United States with its relief operation for the victims of Tropical Storm Harvey.
On Tuesday, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on his Facebook page that President Donald Trump accepted the offer and ordered the deployment of four Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters. The aircraft will help lift land troops, evacuees and transport supplies to and from the affected areas of Tropical Storm Harvey.
“Spoke to President Donald J. Trump on the phone while he was on Air Force One en route to Texas. I expressed my concern and sympathy over the loss of life and damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. Mr Trump accepted my offer to deploy The Republic of Singapore Air Force CH-47 Chinook helicopters from its Peace Prairie detachment in Grand Prairie, Texas, to assist in disaster relief operations,” the prime minister wrote.
Singapore’s Ministry of Defense, meanwhile, has released a statement saying: “Prime Minister Lee said this was a small gesture to express our appreciation and gratitude to the US and in particular the State of Texas, which have been good hosts for our Peace Prairie detachment.”
The same detachment was deployed during the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005 in New Orleans, where an estimated total of 1,833 people died and over $108 billion in damage.
The Peace Prairie Detachment in Texas is one of the five detachment training centers that Singapore has throughout the U.S., specifically for CH-47 Chinook training. The other four locations are: Luke Air Force Base (Arizona); and Cannon Air Force Base (New Mexico) for F-16 fighter jets; McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas for KC-135 Jet Tanker; and Marana, Arizona for the AH-64 Apache helicopter detachment.
Both the U.S. and Singapore signed an agreement to put the detachment in Grand Prairie, Texas, on May 22, 1996.
On the live update of The Guardian, 31 people have been confirmed dead after Tropical Storm Harvey struck Texas, as of this writing. The U.S. Coast Guard also reported that 940 people have been rescued, a total of 4,500 civilians, from the calamity.