Coronavirus response: Allied planes carrying supplies arrive in Slovakia, head to Romania
A planeload of medical supplies, including masks, has arrived in Slovakia on Wednesday (25 March 2020) to help with the coronavirus crisis.
The Antonov AN-124 plane landed around 14.30 local time at Bratislava airport with 48 tons of medical material. The cargo aircraft is part of the Strategic Airlift International Solution or SALIS programme, which is supported by NATO. The supplies, included facemasks, surgical gloves and protective suits arrived from Tianjin in China.
A further 45 tons of medical equipment, including 100,000 protective suits, are set to arrive in Bucharest on Thursday (26 March 2020) from the Republic of Korea. The equipment has been procured by the Romanian government as part of the efforts to combat the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The supplies will be delivered with a C-17 Globemaster aircraft which is part of the Strategic Airlift Capability.
NATO oversees two strategic airlift programmes. As part of the Strategic Airlift Capability or SAC, Allies and partner countries jointly own and operate three C-17 Globemaster heavy cargo aircraft, sharing flying hours and costs. Allies also charter several Antonov transport aircraft under the Alliance’s Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) program. These programmes routinely moved personnel and supplies from Europe to NATO bases in Afghanistan and Kosovo as well as humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti and Pakistan.