Transport aircraft operated by Asia-Pacific nations have played a key role in funnelling material support and rescue personnel to earthquake-hit Turkey.

The earthquake in Southeast Turkey and Northern Syria on 6 February has devastated communities, with officials putting the death toll in excess of 20,000.

The disaster has seen Asia-Pacific militaries activate their Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) capabilities, including the dispatch of a range of transport aircraft.

On 8 February, Bangladesh dispatched a Lockheed Martin C-130J carrying 61 personnel, with blankets, medicine and tents.

Neighbouring India has mounted a big effort. The Indian air force has thus far sent six aircraft to India, namely C-130Js and Boeing C-17 strategic transports. The Indian aircraft have carried personnel, medicines, and other relief equipment.

The Royal Australian Air Force dispatched a C-17 with 72 urban search-and-rescue specialists along with 24t of supplies. 

Malaysia has also been involved, with the dispatch of two Airbus Defence & Space A400Ms, carrying healthcare staff who will remain in Turkey for six weeks. Commercial aircraft were also enlisted to support Malaysia’s effort.

The Royal Malaysian Air Force adds that HADR operations are a key component of its mission set.

South Korea, for its part, has used the Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transport to dispatch 110 rescue personnel and emergency supplies. According to Seoul, its effort is the largest international HADR effort that the country has undertaken.

The efforts are part of a broader global effort to support Turkey. Western air forces, including the UK Royal Air Force and US Air Force, have also dispatched personnel and other assistance.