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Apr 16 2020

NATO Allied Command Operations continues to support the fight against COVID-19

SHAPE, Belgium – In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, NATO continues to deliver effective deterrence and defence. “We are laser-focused on that delivery,” said General Tod D. Wolters, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, here today. Our ability to conduct operations has not been undermined, our forces remain ready and our crucial work continues

We are laser-focused on that delivery

“Allies continue to stand close together and support each another, especially during these trying times,” Wolters continued. “We do so, through different NATO arrangements and … we will continue to do so.” Allied armed forces across the Alliance are also playing an essential role in supporting national civilian efforts. It shows that our nations are resilient, and united.

The recently installed NATO COVID-19 Task Force continues to coordinate military support and activities to ensure NATO and Allied nations use their military resources most effectively. The Task Force is determined to use combined experience and resources, planning capabilities, expertise and preparedness to work together during this pandemic. To be successful, NATO is relying on and utilising some of the entities and organisations listed below:

Allies continue to stand close together and support each other
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Tod D. Wolters holds a press briefing at the  during the meetings of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) at the level of Defence Ministers held at the NATO Headquarters on February 12, 2020. (NATO Photo courtesy of SHAPE Public Affairs)

The Allied armed forces, that are playing a vital role in supporting national civilian responses within their countries, and across the Alliance helping others. This includes the Allied armed forces that are also supporting local communities in NATO areas of operations, such as in Kosovo (KFOR).

NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre(EADRCC), plays an important role helping to provide relief to Allies and partners. It is NATO’s principle civil emergency response mechanism in the Euro-Atlantic Area.

The NATO Support and Procurement Agency(NSPA), has a leading role in responding to the crisis. The NSPA provides logistical support and organises transport of and the procurement of key supplies and equipment to Allies, partners and other international organisations.

The Strategic Airlift International Solution(SALIS)programme, supported by NATO. This programme enables participating Allies to charter commercial transport aircraft.

The use of the the Strategic Airlift Capability(SAC), a programme in which participating Allies and partner countries jointly own and operate three C-17 Globemaster heavy cargo aircraft, sharing flying hours and costs.

The Bilateral assistance between Allies and partnerscontinues to be an important part of the international response, showing the strength of NATO solidarity.

The reinforcement of NATO deployments with medical teams, allows Allied armed forces to ensure that deployed troops stay healthy, that all precautionary measures are taken and that local health care systems are not burdened.

The Movements Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE),provides logistical support in optimizing the use of airlift, sealift and land movement assets of armed forces.

The NATO’s Rapid Air Mobility initiative has simplified procedures for military relief flights, by using a NATO call sign and expediting Air Traffic Control clearances. The initiative is made possible by close cooperation between NATO and EUROCONTROL.

The cooperation with partner countries and international organisations,continues to be essential for NATO. We are coordinating with the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the European Union. In particular, NATO and EU staffs are cooperating to counter disinformation about COVID-19. We also remain in close contact with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, NATO is constantly assessing and adapting. In order to respond, we must continue to stand together, work together and support each other. Allied Command Operations is adapting to the COVID-19 crisis in order to prioritize mission critical activities and sustain the readiness that maintains deterrence.

Allies remain committed to their contributions to NATO including our contributions to the Multinational Battle Groups in the East of the Alliance, NATO Air Policing, our maritime deployments and our missions from Afghanistan to Kosovo. NATO’s ability to conduct operations has not been undermined. Our forces remain ready and our crucial work safeguarding Allied nations and partners endures.

For more information in a consolidated report, produced by NATO HQ, go to:

For reading the full SACEUR transcript of the radio-media interview, April 16, go to:

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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