The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has implemented new measures in Scotland as part of the UK Government’s response to fight the rapid outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
As part of these measures, three RAF Puma helicopters will be stationed at Kinloss Barracks in Moray.
The helicopters, in coordination with Chinook and a Wildcat helicopter based at RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire, will operate to assist National Health Service (NHS) boards and trusts across Scotland and northern England.
Midlands and southern England will be covered by a second helicopter facility. They are operating out of the Aviation Task Force Headquarters at RAF Benson, Oxfordshire.
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These helicopter facilities will extend support to medical transports and assist movement of equipment and personnel across the UK.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The creation of these helicopter hubs is the next step in our armed forces’ contribution to tackling the coronavirus outbreak whenever it appears throughout the UK.
“Our aircraft are ready to support emergency services and local communities wherever needed across the highlands and islands of Scotland, the armed forces have always got your back.
“In addition, our superb military planners and logisticians are engaging with the governments and health services of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to support their efforts in responding to the virus.”
The Joint Helicopter Support Squadron based at RAF Benson and the Tactical Supply Wing based at MOD Stafford will support all helicopter forces.
The task force formed will include personnel from all three services across the Joint Helicopter Command.
Additionally, the relief team includes army medical personnel, logistics, supply and humanitarian relief planners.