MONS, Belgium – A NATO Rapid Air Mobility (RAM) flight arrived at U.S. Air Base Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, United States on Tuesday, Apr. 28, 2020 with medical supplies from Turkey to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and support a NATO Ally.
The Turkish government sent supplies including medical gloves, medical masks, protective goggles, protective clothes, and hand sanitizer brought onboard an A400M military transport aircraft and using the RAM process, demonstrating NATOs continuing effort to assist Allies during the coronavirus crisis.
U.S. and Turkish leadership in front of a Turkish A400M military transport aircraft filled with medical supplies at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Apr. 28, 2020. The Turkish Ambassador to the U.S., the Turkish Defense Attaché to the U.S., and other Turkish Embassy staff members greeted the arriving Turkish crew when the plane arrived as well as a State Department delegation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Spencer Slocum)
"The implementation of simplified procedures for Rapid Air Mobility, in coordination with EUROCONTROL, allows Allied military flights to expedite delivery of life-saving medical supplies," said Lieutenant General Olivier Rittimann, SHAPE's Vice Chief of Staff, and commander of the NATO COVID-19 Task Force.
The RAM initiative includes simplified procedures for military relief flights, by using a NATO call sign to expedite Air Traffic Control clearances. This initiative is possible because of close cooperation between NATO and EUROCONTROL.
The Turkish Ambassador to the U.S., the Turkish Defense Attaché to the U.S., and other Turkish Embassy staff members greeted the arriving Turkish crew when the plane arrived as well as a U.S. State Department delegation. The materials were offloaded by U.S. Airmen assigned to the 89th Airlift Wing.
The North Atlantic Council activated RAM for the first time on Mar. 31, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to support relief flights carrying critical supplies. The first of these flights took place on Apr. 10, 2020, facilitating the delivery of medical supplies and personal protective equipment from Turkey to the United Kingdom.
For a video displaying the RAM flight, click here: https://youtu.be/OaAQwn1CmVE
Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office