The first Royal Norwegian Air Force aircaraft with emergency aid for refugees in Northern Iraq, C-130J “Idunn” (5607), landed at Erbil on 5 September 2014. The cargo was a mobile water filtering unit, which will be moved to an area north of the Iraqi city where millions of people are on the run for violence caused by the so-called Islamic State forces.
Erbil is Iraq’s fourth largest city. At the airfield the Norwegian cargo was immediately offloaded after landing.
The Norwegian government offered a C-130J already in mid-August for humanitarian aid, but initially no international neither national organisation requested its use. It also took some time to clear all the paper work in order for the military aircraft to fly through other countries’s airspace and get landing approval from the Iraqi authorities.
The C-130J belongs to 335 Squadron based at Oslo-Gardermoen International Airport. The squadrons staff is now planning to set up an air bridge between the city of Amman in Jordan and Northern Iraq with one of the unit’s four Hercules airlifters. The request comes from the United Nations with 10 or more flights both back and forth to Erbil are envisaged so far. The Norwegians keep options open to transport even more aid from UN storage areas in Dubai, Albania and Turkey.
(Footage © Forsvaret)