The mission conducted by the German Air Force confirms NATO's support for a common challenge.
|German Air Force A310 transport aircraft.|
As the COVID-19 crisis poses increasing challenges to national heath systems, NATO Allies are stepping in to assist and support each other. The German Air Force (GAF) sent a specialized A310 medical transport aircraft to evacuate several patients from affected regions, providing relief to local hospitals.
“During the flight it is paramount to ensure the patient remains in a stable condition. Being evacuated in an airplane causes additional stress to patients. Therefore we must take every possible step to prevent that their health condition deteriorates further,” GAF Medical Officer Susanne said.
On March 28 and 29 a total of 12 patients were collected from Bergamo, Italy, onboard the A310 MedEvac aicraft. They were transported to different German Armed Forces Hospitals as well as civilian facilities for further treatment.
“The situation at Bergamo was very good, we received great support from the Italian air traffic controllers. We were handled very swiftly and we received any support we needed at the airport. On the flight we’ve had execellent communication from the cockpit with the medical staff and all other support staff. Everybody has cooperated. It took a while, but then we were able to swiftly leave again. And we have felt gratitude by the Italians. They also thanked us for our flight via radio. Apparently they were aware of what we were doing here,” GAF Capt. Sebastian Nieth said.
“When we receive the patients it is important to ensure hygienic requirements are meticulously met so that a risk of being infected by the coronavirus is eliminated at any time.
“We protect ourselves by wearing the mandatory protective equipment. That means we all werar at least FFP2 of FFP3 face masks and face shields to protect the eyes, we all wear a hood and protective gowns. In addition we have two pairs of gloves. All these measurs ensure we are completely protected,” Susanne said.
Two more patients were collected from France with an A400M transpot aircraft, modified for medical transport. They were broight to the Armed Force Hospital at ULM, Germany.
In the collective fight against COVID-19. NATO Allies continue to demonstrate their solidarity and resilience in facing a common challenge.
Spurce: video by Allied Air Command PAO