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Navy helicopter from RNAS Culdrose deployed to Philippines

By West Briton  |  Posted: November 28, 2013

  • Lieutenant -Commander Edwin Cooper, from Falmouth, is part of the Navy force delivering vital aid.

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A HELICOPTER crew from RNAS Culdrose has been delivering food and supplies to parts of the Philippines damaged by Typhoon Haiyan.

Led by Lieutenant- Commander Edwin Cooper, from Falmouth, a Merlin helicopter from 829 Naval Air Squadron arrived in the Philippines on Monday.

The crew is based on HMS Illustrious, which had previously been on anti- piracy patrols off the Horn of Africa.

Having picked up 500 tons of food and supplies in Singapore, the task now for 'Lusty' and her crew, is to ensure that the correct aid is supplied to the most affected and vulnerable areas.

The Lieutenant-Commander said: "After HMS Illustrious stored goods in Singapore, we have a vast and wide range of incredibly useful aid onboard.

"The important part now is to ensure we get the aid to those who need it most."


One of the first tasks for the Helston-based Culdrose aviators has been to survey the devastation and determine what needs to be done.

Launching at sunrise on Monday, the Merlin flew to the large island of Tablas, in the centre of the Philippines archipelago, and some six smaller surrounding islands, covering a total area of 180 square miles.

In the aircraft helping to assess the damage was a team of specialists from 24 Commando Royal Engineers, based at RMB Chivenor, whose job was to work out where HMS Illustrious will be most effective.

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