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ASDF C-130s depart on Pakistan relief duty

Kyodo

Two Air Self-Defense Force transport aircraft left Chitose air base Thursday for Pakistan to take part in relief activities in the wake of last Saturday’s devastating earthquake, ASDF officials said.

The C-130s, which are carrying two UH-1 helicopters and mobile generators, will arrive in Islamabad as early as Saturday.

About 120 Ground Self-Defense Force troops are also scheduled to leave the air base in Hokkaido on Friday for Pakistan.

The troops will use the helicopters to transport supplies to quake-hit areas Saturday.

They are scheduled to provide support in the country for two to three weeks. A 21-strong advance team left Tokyo Wednesday for Islamabad to check conditions in Pakistan’s northern disaster zone and prepare for the dispatch of the relief squad.

Japan has already dispatched about 70 emergency relief workers.