US Air Forces (USAF) in Europe (USAFE) has provided a C-130J Super Hercules from Ramstein Air Force Base (AFB), Germany, aiding the transportation of medical and other relief supplies between supply hubs in Milan and Rome in Italy amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The Italian Government is supported by the USAF 86th Airlift Wing for the mission, which is the first in a planned series of USAFE mobility support operations to Italy.
The mobility support will assist Italy in redistributing more than 15,000kg of Covid-19 relief supplies, including KN-95 masks, surgical gowns and Covid-19 test kits between distribution hubs.
USAF 86th Airlift Wing commander Brigade General Mark August said: “One of the things this coronavirus pandemic has revealed is the importance of our European partnerships as we fight this invisible enemy together with our Nato allies and partners.
“It has also reinforced what we have known for a long time, airlift is always in high demand in any crisis or contingency, and professional airlift is our speciality.”
The delivery with other US Defense Department support efforts emphasise on the US’ commitment to the global pandemic response, demonstrating close partnership between the two Nato allies.
The mission also marked another successful use of Nato’s Rapid Air Mobility initiative, which was activated in March.
The initiative aims to help Nato military aircraft quickly transit through member nations at the time of contingency response operations.
It is part of Nato’s military mobility effort to boost the readiness and deployment of allied troops and assets.