NATO will not sacrifice deterrence in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and continues to execute daily operations. For example, Spain, France and the United Kingdom will take up NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission starting in May, guarding the skies over the Baltic region for the next four months. The three NATO Allies are replacing air force detachments from Belgium and Poland which have protected the airspace of NATO's three Baltic Allies - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - since January. Any potential adversaries should know that NATO forces remain ready and steadfast in their commitment to protect all Allies and our shared values remain at our core, even in times of global pandemic.
In parallel, NATO continues to support Allied nations through key COVID-19 relief acquisition and transport. This week, NATO's Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) procured nearly seven tons of protective medical equipment for Denmark, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Greece as part of the efforts to help contain the spread of the Coronavirus. A first shipment of supplies arrived on Sunday, 26 April, at Findel Airport, Luxembourg. The cargo contained protective goggles, thermometers, face shields and nearly 200,000 masks for Denmark, and more than 50,000 masks and other protective equipment for Slovakia. The second cargo arrived from Shanghai today, 30 April, carrying protective goggles and more than 100,000 masks for Greece and nearly 65,000 masks and goggles for the Czech Republic.
Health of the forces is vitally important to maintaining readiness to deter and defend the Alliance. Prudent measures have been implemented to reduce the exposure and transmission of Coronavirus to or from NATO members, their families, and home nations. NATO medical staff are monitoring each event and participating personnel carefully for any signs or symptoms that may pose a threat to personal health and safety of operations, as well as the daily work back home in the respective Headquarters. Should the virus affect a staff member, immediate action will be taken to prevent the further spread of the disease. Keeping physical distancing and frequent hand hygiene remains key to help containing the pandemic.