GHS helicopters complete UN emergency mercy missions

Global Helicopter Service GmbH Press Release | January 19, 2017

Estimated reading time 2 minutes, 51 seconds.

On Jan. 18, three Global Helicopter Service GmbH helicopters were re-tasked at short notice from World Food Programme (WFP) missions to respond to an urgent demand for airlift of injured civilian casualties from a “friendly fire incident” in the Northeast region of Rann, Nigeria.

The support provided by GHS greatly enhanced the UN Humanitarian Air Service emergency evacuation of injured civilians and provided an immediate solution to all of the non-governmental organizations onsite. GHS Photo
The support provided by GHS greatly enhanced the UN Humanitarian Air Service emergency evacuation of injured civilians and provided an immediate solution to all of the non-governmental organizations onsite. GHS Photo

The GHS Bell 412 and Bell 212 helicopters are based in Maiduguri on a WFP Aid contract, but when the incident was reported, GHS were called upon to respond by assisting moving medical teams, equipment and evacuating injured civilians. The GHS in-country team was very quick to react.

The helicopters were equipped with stretcher systems and were immediately tasked demonstrating again, that GHS is a very dynamic, capable and mission-focused company. Eight missions were flown in direct support of the incident and more missions for GHS are planned over the next few days.

The support provided by GHS greatly enhanced the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) emergency evacuation of injured civilians and provided an immediate solution to all of the non-governmental organizations (NGO) onsite. UNHAS was able to rescue dozens of victims from the friendly fire incident in Rann, Nigeria.

GHS has a proven history in supporting NGOs in difficult and demanding environments. During the recent Ebola Crisis in West Africa, GHS responded and flew for MSF and United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP)/ UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) and U.K. Department For International Development/Gritrock, directly supporting the international Ebola response.

In Borno State, Nigeria on Jan. 17, 2017, at approximately 12 p.m., an Air force Alpha Jet committed a friendly fire incident by dropping bombs on an IDP camp at Rann village of Kala Balge LGA, killing possibly as many as 15 international aid workers, as well as between 52 to 100-plus IDPs killed and between 120 to 150 others injured.

The exact number of casualties has not yet been ascertained but many of those killed are allegedly children. The incident allegedly occurred when the fighter jet flew over the camp and dropped the bombs in the camp during a food distribution exercise before ground troops could communicate with the pilot about what it was.

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