HMS Illustrious departed Singapore en route to the Philippines on Friday, November 22. During 48 hours alongside Sembawang naval shipyard in Singapore, over 500 tons of disaster relief aid was loaded into the hangar by the men and women serving in HMS Illustrious, a team from the Department for International Development (DFID), and the embarked forces including J Company 42 Commando Royal Marines and the carrier air group.
During the time alongside in Singapore, additional medical teams embarked along with personnel from 24 Commando Royal Engineers, as well as a humanitarian expert and a logistics adviser from DFID.
The Portsmouth based amphibious helicopter carrier was released by DfID, the government department leading the aid effort, to sail at 1330 local.
“Lusty” will make best speed to the Philippines to join the international humanitarian effort following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.
Commander Phil Hally, who was responsible for the complex task of planning the onload of aid, said:
“We have managed to fit in everything DfID asked us to carry.
“The young men and women onboard have worked tremendously hard and we are very proud of what they have achieved in a very short time. This is something we will all remember.
“We now have a very short period of passage to the Philippines before the really hard work begins.”
“Lusty” is due to arrive in the Philippines around 25th November to relieve HMS Daring as part the UK’s contribution to the aid effort.
Press Release, November 25, 2013; Image: Royal Navy