Coronavirus response: essential supplies airlifted to Poland
The NATO-supported Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) executed a mission to Wroclaw today (3 June 2020), bringing 75 tonnes of equipment to Poland to help stem the spread of COVID-19. The AN-124 flight delivered face shields, a mask-making machine, protective clothing, and medical gloves. Requested by Poland’s Ministry of National Defence, this marks the fifth SALIS mission carried out in 2020 to support Poland’s efforts to fight the Coronavirus pandemic. In total, Poland has airlifted 299 tonnes of medical supplies through this programme.
NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu welcomed the ongoing efforts, saying: “NATO Allies and partners stand together in solidarity in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through NATO, Nations have been helping each other to save lives. The strategic airlift of urgent medical equipment is one of the many capabilities we are deploying to respond to this common challenge.”
In recent months, Poland has also supported other NATO Allies and partners, through medical aid donations coordinated through NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). These included Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Georgia.
Military forces from across the Alliance have flown more than 350 flights to transport medical personnel and over 1,000 tonnes of equipment to date. They have helped to build about 100 field hospitals and more than 25,000 treatment beds, and they have deployed thousands of medical personnel in support of civilian efforts.
The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) manages the SALIS programme as part of NATO’s strategic airlift capabilities. The SALIS programme provides assured access to five large Ukrainian AN-124 aircraft. NSPA’s contract with Antonov Logistics SALIS also provides access to AN-22, AN-225 and IL-76 Chap IV aircraft.
As part of NATO’s efforts to help countries to fight the coronavirus pandemic, NSPA is helping Allies meet their needs for medical equipment in a time of transport restrictions.