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Monday, September 1

Canada Supports U.S. Evacuation Efforts in Preparation for Gustav

"Canada stands ready to help"

Thank you very much to the Canadian people for the assistance:
August 31 - 4:39 PM via Market Watch [...] At the request of the United States government, a Canadian Forces CC-177 aircraft left Canada earlier today for the southern U.S. Gulf Coast. The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, indicated that he had spoken with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff to offer further assistance.

"Canada and the United States have a long history of helping each other in times of need," said Minister Emerson. "We were pleased that we could provide this support so quickly." The multipurpose CC-177 departed from CFB Trenton shortly after midday. Purchased by the Government of Canada in 2006 to assist with a host of operations, including humanitarian emergencies, the CC-177 continues to be an invaluable asset to Canada.

"Our highly trained medical team and this specially outfitted CC-177 have the ability to quickly and efficiently move those in need of medical assistance," said Minister MacKay. "Our military support of civil emergency operations helps to save lives, prevent human suffering and mitigate damage to property."

Canada is providing the medical fixed-wing aircraft, with medical personnel on board to assist with any health issues, to conduct an evacuation from potentially affected areas. The exact location of the mission and its duration will depend on the storm's track and needs on the ground.

The Canada-U.S. Civil Assistance Plan provides the framework for the execution of this mission. The Civil Assistance Plan, which was announced in February, enhances the ability of the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.

"I spoke with Secretary Chertoff this morning to discuss the situation," said Minister Day. "Secretary Chertoff expressed gratitude on behalf of the U.S. government for Canada's help. I offered any additional assistance they may require on the ground now or after Gustav hits the Gulf states, including help from a Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team. Canada stands ready to help." [...]

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