Colombo – For the first time Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has flown a C-130 Hercules on a re-supply mission to its Aviation Units in South Sudan and Central African Republic.
A SLAF C-130 Hercules airlifted 10,799 kg of urgent aircraft spares, machinery, medical and essential cargo to both SLAF Aviation Missions in the South Sudan (UNMISS) and Central African Republic (MINUSCA) early morning on 20th March 2016 and returned on the night of 24 Mar 2016.
The SCH880 C-130 Aircraft made its first refueling stop in Male and made first day night stop in Seychelles 20th evening. On the second day they landed in Nairobi for refueling and proceeded safely for Juba airport in South Sudan on 21st evening. They unloaded the first load of urgent resupplies of 6,739 kg carried to UNMISS successfully and then airborne to Entebbe for night stop. On the third day, 22nd March SLAF C 130 flew from Entebbe to Bangui airport in Central Africa. Crew unloaded total of 4,060 kg urgent helicopter spares and essential machinery, vehicle spares and very urgent medical supplies weighing 195 kg for the SL army hospital of the UN Deployment. The Aircraft loaded with all unserviceable helicopter spare parts, other returning cargo and used the same route and returned safely around on 24th March 2016.
This marks a historic and very successful resupply mission for the both Sri Lankan Aviation Contingents deployed in United Nations Missions in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and South Sudan (UNMISS), the SLAF said.
The mission proved the efficacy of SLAF C 130 for speedy resupplying capability of helicopter spare parts, machinery, essential goods and medical supplies for SLAF Aviation Units and SL Army UN deployments in the African Continent.
The SLAF C 130 took only 5 days to complete the mission with urgent resupplies and it was calculated that an approximate per kg cost was US$ 5 inclusive of all overheads. In comparison, a sea cargo will take minimum of 45 days at US$ 1.9/kg and an air cargo through commercial freight forwarders around 20 days at US$ 34/kg to reach UN Mission in the African continent.
The SLAF C 130 has flown Sri Lankan Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) missions during two earthquake incidents in Pakistan, two earthquake incidents in Nepal and Maldivian water purification crisis in December 2014.
The SLAF said the mission further demonstrated its resupply ability to cater to future demand and assure the sustenance of UN peacekeeping operations undertaken by Sri Lanka Armed forces, capability to execute Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) missions by providing transport for rescue personnel and disaster relief goods within and outside the country.
Source: Colombo Page News