Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston to lead Joint Agency Coordination Centre
30 March 2014
Media Release issued by The Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia
I am pleased to announce that Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC AFC will lead a new Joint Agency Coordination Centre (the JACC) that will be based in Perth to coordinate the Australian Government's support for the search into MH370.
A former Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Houston is an individual of enormous experience and great skill who has already served his country with distinction.
Australia is providing extensive logistical and other support to the Government of Malaysia in the investigation into MH370.
The new JACC will work with key Commonwealth, state and international stakeholders including the families, friends and international media.
The JACC will ensure that the search being coordinated by AMSA and ATSB is reinforced by strong liaison with all the relevant stakeholders, including the families of the passengers.
The JACC will provide a single contact point for families to gain up-to-date information and travel assistance including visa services, accommodation advice, interpreter services and counselling.
The Australian Government has already announced that visa fees will be waived for affected families.
This multi-country search is a powerful example of international cooperation at a time of adversity.
Military air crew from Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and the United States are searching for possible debris from MH370.
They have been conducting these searches over a very large area in challenging conditions, far from the Western Australian coast and in variable weather.