Canada could send 3 to 6 military helicopters for Philippine relief

Master Warrant Officer David Milligan of a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) prepares his luggage for check-in at Canadian Forces Base Trenton on November 11, 2013. Corporal Darcy Lefebvre, Canadian Forces

OTTAWA – The Canadian Forces are considering sending a detachment of three to six Griffon helicopters to assist in relief efforts in the Philippines.

READ MORE: DART bound for hard-hit Philippines city of Iloilo

Officials say teams on the ground in the typhoon-ravaged island of Panay country are assessing the situation and the need for helicopters.

The military is preparing helicopters for the mission if it’s decided to send them.

MORE: Typhoon-struck Philippine city begins mass burial

The Canadian effort now is based at the airport in Iloilo, but elements of the Disaster Assistance Response Team or DART, are preparing to move north to the city of Roxas.

READ MORE: Canadian military advance team reaches Philippines, begins assessment

Officials say the helicopters could provide vital mobility is a region where many communities are on isolated, outlying islands.

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The Canadian team includes medical personnel but military officials say the initial work will fall to engineers who can open roads, repair basic infrastructure and provide clean drinking water.

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