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The military stands up to COVID-19

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has put 10,000 military personnel at a higher readiness and placed Reserves on standby to support public services as part of a new “COVID Support Force”.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The men and women of our armed forces stand ready to protect Britain and her citizens from all threats, including COVID-19.”

“There are well-rehearsed mechanisms in place for the military to provide support to civil authorities in times of need.”

So far, the military has already assisted with repatriation flights from China and Japan.

Now 150 military personnel are being trained to drive oxygen tankers in order to support the NHS if required.

By 29 Mar, the first cohort of military personnel will have completed their training to fill the oxygen tankers, drive them safely and deposit the oxygen at NHS facilities.

In addition to the oxygen delivery effort, scientists from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) are supporting Public Health England’s effort to understand the virus and tackle the spread.

Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) is poised to deliver essential supplies to remote regions of the UK and transport people and equipment.

In one of the first instances of medical evacuation during the ongoing pandemic on 15 Mar, JHC responded to a request to transfer a critically ill patient from the Isle of Scilly to Newquay International Airport.

On 23 Mar, a RAF A400M transport aircraft responded to a request to transfer a critically ill COVID-positive patient from hospital in the Shetland Islands to an Intensive Care Unit in Aberdeen.

Meanwhile, soldiers from 4 Regiment RLC delivered 10,000 protective face masks to St Thomas’ Hospital, London on 24 Mar.

So far, fifty members of armed forces personnel have begun assisting the NHS with the distribution and delivery of PPE. The number of personnel is likely to be increased to 250 when the programme is running at full capacity.

The Royal Logistic Corps

Over the weekend, 154 Scottish Regiment RLC hosted Exercise MUDMASTER, the annual off-road driver training challenge that tests drivers’ skills and precision behind the wheel of different vehicles. The event, which took place in Dunfermline, Stirling and Linlithgow in Scotland, aims to develop the safe driving skills of the Corps’ soldiers with conditions that are designed to test their capabilities to the fullest. More than 100 teams entered, with both regular, reserve and civilian personnel taking part in challenges including navigation, observation, discipline and safety; all essential skills needed for deploying on future operations. #BritishArmyLogistics #WeSustain #WeAreTheRLC ... See MoreSee Less
Over the last two weeks, seven members of the 17 Port and Maritime Regiment RLC, Marchwood Regimental Dive Team successfully organised the ‘deep phase’ of Exercise SUBMERGED CRUSADER 21 in the Isle of Skye, Scotland. In total, 20 divers took part in numerous training serials including: live decompression up to depths of 42m, ultrathermic cutting, hydraulic tools, search and recovery and a seabed survey in the murky depths of Loch Alsh, Loch Akin and Loch Na Beiste. The team were ably supported by the dive tender MV Moorhen and a Navy Chamber crew from the Defence Diving School who conducted lessons on safely recovering a diver to a recompression chamber.#BritishArmyLogistics #WeSustain #WeAreTheRLC ... See MoreSee Less
RLC personnel from BATUK have been helping to make donations of food and books to Hope and Homes Recreation Centre, a local orphanage home to 56 children in Kenya. Hope and Homes first became a registered recreation centre in 2011 by Suzanne Wangiru. Suzanne created the centre in order to rehabilitate street children, as well as orphans and young girls that have been rescued form early marriages. Cpl Shannon Stevens who is currently on detachment from 13AASR, commented on her experience visiting this fundamental centre: “When we entered the Centre, we were taken by surprise as there were more children than we had imagined there would be. We helped to distribute food, drawing books and reading books and the children were ecstatic. It was a surreal experience at Hope and Homes, full of differing emotions, but it was definitely a great opportunity for the members of CSS 2nd Line to engage with the community creating a better working relationship with BATUK.”Major R Crane MBE RLC, SO2 CSS BATUK commented: “Witnessing the delight on the kids’ faces when they received the books and clothes that had been donated by friends and families across UK was very humbling. There are so many children in need and every little helps.” #BritishArmyLogistics #WeSustain #WeAreTheRLC ... See MoreSee Less