NATO Strategic Airlift brings relief to Typhoon ravaged Philippines
An Ilyushin Il-76 transport plane from NATO’s Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS) consortium took off from Billund, Denmark on Monday (11 November 2013) carrying humanitarian relief supplies bound for Tacloban City in the Philippines in wake of the devastating typhoon which hit the Asian nation last week.
Antonov An-124-100 transport aircraft (Archive picture)
Cargo on board included generators, tents, water purifiers, food, office equipment and computers. Further flights to the Philippines are planned in the coming days to Manila and Cebu.
NATO’s Strategic Airlift was called into action following a Swedish request to support humanitarian aid shipments to the Philippines. Sweden and Finland are two NATO partner countries part of the SALIS consortium. SALIS is one of two complementary initiatives aimed at providing NATO with strategic airlift capabilities. The other is the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC), under which ten NATO countries plus Sweden and Finland have purchased three Boeing C-17 transport aircraft.
SALIS involves 12 NATO nations (Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the United Kingdom) plus Sweden and Finland. It began operations in 2006. The consortium pools the resources of the participants to charter special aircraft which give NATO the capability to transport heavy equipment across the globe by air. These aircraft can be used to support both international and national airlift requirements. The NATO Support Agency (NSPA) manages the commercial contracts for SALIS.