A medical and logistics support team with essential supplies left New Zealand on Saturday to help Papua New Guinea as it struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the team are two of our USAR members, Phil Grace, Senior Station Officer at Henderson Station, and Shane England, Senior Firefighter at Auckland City Station.

Ian Duncan, Fire and Emergency National and International Response Manager, said Papua New Guinea formally requested humanitarian and medical support amid rising case numbers, hospitalisations and deaths from the COVID-19 Delta surge.

“Phil and Shane have gone as part of a team made up New Zealand Defence Force personnel, Australian and New Zealand doctors and nurses, and a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade representative.

“Their role is logisticians – ‘loggies’ – and they will be supporting the doctors and nurses with whatever they need such as transport, food, equipment, and fuel.”

Ian said the team arrived in Port Moresby for briefings and then were transported to Bougainville where they will stay for 28 days.

We wish them all the best for a successful mission.

Phil Grace

Shane England

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