Canadian military advance team reaches Philippines, begins assessment

The advance party of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) loads a C177 Globemaster bound for Hawaii at Canadian Forces Base Trenton on November 11, 2013 as Canada awaits recommendations from the Interdepartmental Strategic Support Team (ISST) and Humanitarian Assistance Reconnaissance Team (HART) on how best to assist the people of the Philippines. Cpl Levarre McDonald

OTTAWA – A Canadian military reconnaissance team has landed in the Philippines for talks with local officials on how best to help the Asian country devastated by a vicious typhoon.

Gallery: Members of DART head to Philippines

But Canada’s larger Disaster Assistance Response Team, which deployed for the Philippines on Monday, is currently in Hawaii, waiting for specifics on where and how it can help.

READ MORE: How Canadians can help those impacted by Typhoon Haiyan

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson says the DART will be available at a moment’s notice once the Canadian advance team has provided its assessment.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced Monday that a Canadian Forces C-17 was en route to the Southeast Asian archipelago, carrying between 35 and 50 members of the team with their equipment.

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READ MORE: Tons of aid in Philippines, but not where needed

Baird had emphasized the speed at which the government had taken action.

The DART has 200 Canadian Forces personnel and was last deployed following the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010.

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