SACEUR  /  Speeches & Transcripts  /  SACEUR Remarks on COVID-19 Task Force

SACEUR Remarks on COVID-19 Task Force


The men and women of Allied Command Operations focus day-in and day-out on deterrence and defense of the Euro-Atlantic area. We will continue to leverage our unique expertise, and precise command and control to facilitate efforts in the fight against Covid-19. These actions are embraced to deliver results for NATO Allies and partners, saving lives and fostering peace.

As a strategic headquarters with a broad spectrum of planning resources, comprised of experienced officers and noncommissioned officers from our NATO and partner nations, we remain well equipped to expedite Covid-19 support efforts between nations. We will continue to analyze the strategic Euro-Atlantic environment to harvest opportunities to harness our military resources, personnel, and experience...all accomplished to deliver impactful results to those most in need.

I have designated Lieutenant General Olivier Rittimann as the commander, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe Covid-19 Task Force. General Rittiman will continue leading our relentless efforts to defeat this invisible virus, coordinate current and "near term" fixes, and better prepare and posture our militaries for future pandemics.

As recently as last Friday, April 3, 2020, the SHAPE Task Force secured NATO transportation to and from Italy, Spain, and Germany, for the conveyance of vital Covid-19 medical supplies.

With regards to NATO readiness, we have operated, trained, and exercised side-by-side, in a variety of conditions and scenarios, for many years. our shoulder-to-shoulder relationship has enhanced our resiliency and responsiveness. Many of the skills our armed forces "train-to" regularly are highly beneficial in the fight against Covid-19. We have "remarkably practiced" medical personnel, professional military aviators, transporters and logisticians...they are the best on planet earth.

We maintain the capability, as NATO forces, to quickly adapt to this situation...it reveals our extraordinary strength. We will continue to execute daily operations, with measures implemented to reduce the exposure and potential transmission of the virus.

Together we will get through this!

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