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 May 1 2020

PORTUGUESE AIR FORCE CONTRIBUTES TO NATIONAL BATTLE AGAINST COVID-19

RAMSTEIN, Germany – Since February already the Portuguese Air Force has been support the national battle against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic besides conducting the missions providing security at the national level and within the Alliance.

The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented challenge to all nations, and is having a profound impact on people and economies. The crisis has shown that NATO members are resilient and united. The NATO militaries are playing a key role in support of national civilian efforts and using NATO mechanisms, Allies have been helping each other to save lives.

The Portuguese Air Force is proud to be able to help our population. At the same time, our 24/7 mission continues across the whole spectrum of operations 
         

“We stand with all those affected by the COVID-19 crisis and we are deeply grateful to all those on the front line,” said Portuguese Air Force Brigadier-General João Caldas, Director of Operations, on behalf of the Portuguese Air Force. “The Portuguese Air Force is proud to be able to help our population with our experienced staff. At the same time, our 24/7 mission continues across the whole spectrum of operations, including Air Surveillance and Air Defence, Aeromedical Evacuations and Search and Rescue missions,” he added.

For the Portuguese Air Force the contributions to the national anti-COVID-19 measures began as early as February, when a C-130H transport aircraft helped bringing back Portuguese and Brazilian citizens from affected  areas in China;  another  mission in

For the Portuguese Air Force the contributions to the national anti-COVID-19 measures began as early as February, when a C-130H transport aircraft helped bringing back Portuguese and Brazilian citizens from affected areas in China; another mission in March saw a Falcon 50 jet repatriate Portuguese citizens from Romania with Portuguese Air Force Aeromedical Evacuation practioners on-board. s. 

In March and April the Portuguese Air Force medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) capacities were also used to fly suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases from the Azore Islands to the homeland. Moreover, the Portuguese Air Force transport fleet of six C-130H, two Falcon 50 and two C-295M flew logistic support missions between the mainland and the Azore and Madeira Islands airlifting more than eight tons of sanitary and medical supplies as well as hospital and self-protection equipment for military and civilian users.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in Portugal the Air Force has been hosting refugees – some of the COVID-19 cases – at the Air Force Technical Formation Centre in Ota, made available more than 200 tactical combat beds, 500 specialised hospital beds in support of National Authority for Civil Protection request across the country and provided personnel and material support to the Armed Forces Hospital and retirement homes at Beja Air Base. Storage facilities were opened to the National Health Service and decontamination teams ensured decontamination of equipment used during the COVID-19 pandemic especially the MEDEVAC aircraft.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on input provided by the Portuguese Air Force

The Portuguese Air Force has been key to providing logistic support, airlift and distribution to the government's battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy Portuguese Air Force
Portuguese Air Force loadmasters checking medical supplies inside a 502 Squadron "Elefantes"
C-295M transport plane before taking off to the Island of Madeira. Photo courtesy Portuguese Air Force.
Medical supplies being unloaded from a 502 Squadron "Elefantes" C-295M transport aircraft to assist the Portuguese government's battle against the COVID-19 pandemic on the island of Madeira. Photo courtesy Portuguese Air Force.

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