JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.52
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The SDF Assistance in the Search for Missing Malaysian Airlines MH370

The SDF Assistance in the Search for Missing Malaysian Airlines MH370
The SDF Assistance in the Search for Missing Malaysian Airlines MH370

At the request of the Government of Malaysia on March 10th, the Minister for Foreign Affairs consulted with the Ministry of Defense on March 11th to request the official cooperation of the SDF for participation in international disaster relief activities. The MOD, having determined that the dispatch of SDF personnel would enable effective disaster relief activities, responded to that request and issued the operation order to dispatch the SDF units. The MOD dispatched the advance unit consisting of four personnel for international disaster relief activity in Malaysia. On March 12th, the order was partially revised, and the advance unit was incorporated into the local support coordination center in Malaysia so that they were able to engage in information gathering on the rescue of the missing airplane as well as conduct coordination with relevant institutions and countries. The MOD also deployed two MSDF P-3C patrol aircraft and two ASDF C-130H transport aircraft (in addition, another C-130H was on standby in Japan).

The SDF Assistance in the Search for Missing Malaysian Airlines MH370

While the SDF deployed P-3Cs and C-130Hs and conducted the search activity around the Malay Peninsula based on the request of the Government of Malaysia, on March 21st, the MOD amended the operation order to move the MSDF Patrol Aircraft Unit (two P-3C patrol aircraft) to Australia and implement their activities in the vicinity of Australia. Specifically, the area of activities was extended to Australia and its surrounding waters, and the fixed number of the local support coordination center’s personnel was increased to 10. Meanwhile, the two ASDF C-130Hs returned to Japan after completing their activities in Malaysia, and are currently on standby in Japan for further orders.

The SDF Assistance in the Search for Missing Malaysian Airlines MH370
The SDF Assistance in the Search for Missing Malaysian Airlines MH370
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