United States bushfire support

  • Joint media release
  • Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women
  • Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, Minister for Defence

The Australian Government is deeply grateful for the ongoing support of the United States to Australia’s bushfire response.

The Government also offers to the American people Australia’s deepest condolences, following the death of three brave US firefighters on 23 January 2020.

Building on the support already provided, Australia today welcomed the arrival of two five-person cargo load teams from the 36th Contingency Response Group of the United States Air Force.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said support provided to Australia by the United States to the bushfire response highlighted the strength and depth of the friendship between our two countries.

“The support of the more than 200 US firefighters who have joined their Australian colleagues, along with the many offers of assistance from US businesses and individuals, is greatly appreciated,” Minister Payne said.

“We value America’s generous assistance, and we continue to welcome US businesses and visitors to support the recovery effort.”

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, said the latest deployment builds on training conducted under the bilateral Enhanced Air Cooperation program.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of three American firefighters who were helping Australia, far from their own homes, and who had previously served their country in the US military,” Minister Reynolds said.

“The assistance provided by the US military to Operation Bushfire Assist is a reminder of the rich history of cooperation that exists between our two nations.”

Earlier this month, United States Air Force personnel at Nellis Air Force Base assisted the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) with transporting fire retardant to Australia on a RAAF C‑17A Globemaster.  

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