Over the long weekend, efforts within NATO to support member nations in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic continued.
On Friday, 24 April, a Boeing C-17 Globemaster landed in Budapest, Hungary, carrying nearly 45 tons of medical supplies coming from Malaysia. The flight was arranged by NATO’s Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC). This Emergency Response Mission, requested by Hungary, was the sixth completed by the SAC since 25 March.
An Antonov AN-225, the largest and heaviest cargo plane in the world, arrived from China at Leipzig/Halle airport, Germany, on Monday, 27 April, carrying over 10 million protective masks as part of Germany’s response to COVID-19. This flight was arranged through the NATO managed Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS).
Also on 27 April, a Spanish Air Force Airbus A-400M landed at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, on a twofold mission - the plane deployed the main force of the Spanish lead detachment for NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission and - on the way back- it airlifted medical supplies the Lithuanian government donated to help Spain fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the perfect example that allied solidarity is no one-way street.
The Dutch authorities have announced to continue the lockdown of public life in The Netherlands up until 20 May. However, some restricted openings of elementary schools are envisaged and outdoor sport activities for children and juveniles are permitted within certain limitations. JFC Brunssum staff will continue to work in shifts and from alternate duty locations, thus minimizing the risk of contamination with the virus while keeping the operational capabilities of the Headquarters at a high level.
The rules of physical distancing and frequent hand hygiene continue to apply and should be strictly adhered to by all staff, whether present at the HQ or working from alternate duty locations!