The UK will send a field hospital and C130 Hercules critical care air support team and aircraft to help provide vital emergency treatment to those critically injured by the catastrophic earthquake in Turkey.
This comes on top of key personnel arriving at the British Embassy in Ankara and a A400M RAF transport plane carrying humanitarian aid.
The field hospital, which includes an emergency department, 24/7 operating theatre, and accompanying clinical staff, will deploy to support the post-earthquake response in country.
An eight-person specialist military team is already assisting with planning in Ankara, Turkey and tonight an RAF transport aircraft is due to depart RAF Brize Norton (Thurs) with humanitarian aid announced by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
The UK stands ready to assist our close allies and friends during this terrible time. We will keep options open for further assistance as requested.
The Hercules C130 will be used to move casualties within Turkey.
Development Minister Andrew Mitchell said:
The UK has moved quickly to get vital emergency supplies to survivors of the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. We’re sending thousands of thermal blankets to Turkey to help those in the hardest-hit areas keep warm in the sub-zero temperatures.
This is part of a wider package of UK support to the people of Turkey and Syria.
As the search and rescue operation continues in Turkey, a specialist planning team, sent from the UK’s high-readiness unit Joint Force Headquarters, will support the British Embassy with coordinating the UK’s support, using their experience in operational delivery, logistics and communications.
Joint Force Headquarters commander Brigadier Dan Reeve said:
Our thoughts are with the many victims of this catastrophic earthquake. Our team is trained, equipped and configured to assist our Embassy in Ankara in coordinating the UK’s offer of humanitarian support to Turkey’s disaster response operation.
The Defence Secretary agreed to deploy the assets after the Ministry of Defence and his Turkish counterpart liaised over the last 24 hours.