Firefighters from the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS), along with service personnel from across the UK, landed in Japan yesterday to join in the monumental international relief efforts currently underway in the wake of the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
Carwyn Jones said,
"The response of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service personnel has been selfless and swift.
"This specialised response team has once again been called upon to provide humanitarian assistance and recovery in the wake of another unfortunate global emergency and I have the utmost faith that they will carry out this task with the highest levels of skill, dignity and professionalism.
"Our thoughts and prayers now go out to these brave servicemen and women and their families for a safe return, as well as to the millions of people still affected by this disaster in Japan."
Carl Sargeant, who is the Social Justice and Local Government Minister added,
"It is astonishing that these men and women are able to mobilise so quickly, work seamlessly with other members of the international community and to make such a significant contribution at such short notice.
"Many of the team are highly experienced having worked in similar situations around the world. This latest response follows the return from New Zealand of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s team where they undertook similar activities in Christchurch. I am very proud of all of those involved."
Initial reports suggest that hundreds of thousands of people remain missing, and millions must do without power and water.
The team are hoping to commence search and rescue operations as quickly as possible.