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European Command Works With Allies, Partners in Fight Against COVID-19

March 27, 2020

Military and civilian personnel of U.S. European Command are working with allies and partners in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.

Social distancing, telework and hygiene best practices are all in effect, in addition to being good neighbors in the countries where personnel live and work across Europe, Eucom officials said. The command also is active in supporting allies and partners in addressing the public health crisis, they added.

Airmen secure a pallet of supplies to a forklift.
Forklift Work
Airmen secure a pallet of medical supplies to a forklift at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, March 20, 2020. A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft flew supplies to Aviano Air Base, Italy, in an effort to provide medical support to Italy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo By: Air Force Airman 1st Class John R. Wright
VIRIN: 200320-F-KY598-1008

Men and women from the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, transported an en-route patient staging system to Aviano Air Base, Italy, last week for delivery to the Italian Defense Ministry. A C-130J Super Hercules from the 37th Airlift Squadron delivered the mobile system that provided 10 patient holding/staging beds and supports a maximum throughput of 40 patients in a 24-hour period.

''This effort demonstrates our mutual support as we team together in response to this public health crisis,'' said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe. ''We are working closely with our Italian friends. It's our privilege to support the Italian response.''

Straps secure a box of supplies labeled with a red cross on a pallet.
Supply Tie
Pallets of medical supplies sit at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, awaiting transit to Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 20, 2020. A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron transported the supplies to support Italy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo By: Air Force Airman 1st Class John R. Wright
VIRIN: 200320-F-KY598-1333
An Airman inspects the straps securing medical supplies to a pallet.
200320-F-KY598-1109
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tyler J. Cobb, 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron cargo deployment function and air passenger terminal section chief, inspects pallets of medical supplies at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, March, 20, 2020. A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft later flew the supplies to Aviano Air Base, Italy. Supplies included an En-Route Patient Staging System, which provides 10 patient holding beds and can support a maximum throughput of 40 patients in a 24-hour period. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John R. Wright)
Photo By: Airman 1st Class John Wright
VIRIN: 200320-F-KY598-1109

U.S. Army Europe units also took action to support the hardest-hit regions of Italy working with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency's humanitarian assistance program to provide medical supplies and equipment to support the Italian government and Lombardy regional authorities. Working closely with U.S. Embassy Rome, soldiers of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade at U.S. Army Garrison Italy prepared hospital beds, mattresses, stretchers, bedside screens, adjustable IV poles, folding wheelchairs, medical cabinets and linens to deliver to the areas in need.

Both of these missions demonstrated the strong collaboration with the American Embassy and Italian officials across the affected regions, Eucom officials said.

The ability to rapidly maneuver across Europe to provide relief and support to allies and partners in need is no small task and requires strong relationships, trust and well-established logistics and mobility processes to be in place, officials noted, adding that the missions and delivery of supplies to Italy demonstrated the strong relationship between the two countries. 

Airmen push a pallet of cargo up the loading ramp of a transport aircraft.
Pallet Push
Air Force Airman 1st Class Melinda J. Roth, 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron cargo deployment function technician, helps to load pallets of medical supplies onto a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, March 20, 2020. Airmen from the 86th Medical Group, 86th LRS and 721st Aerial Port Squadron coordinated efforts to expedite the transport of medical supplies to Aviano Air Base, Italy.
Photo By: Air Force Airman 1st Class John R. Wright
VIRIN: 200320-F-KY598-1444

''U.S. European Command and its components are proud to partner with our NATO ally Italy during this difficult time,'' said Navy Rear Adm. Peter Stamatopoulos, Eucom's director of logistics. ''We remain committed to doing everything we can to support Italy, and we value the strong military partnership we have with the Italian Ministry of Defense, led by [Defense Minister]  Lorenzo Guerini.''

Regardless of the crisis, officials said, U.S. European Command is committed to its NATO allies and partners and stands ready to support the fight against COVID-19 while maintaining readiness and deterrence at all times.

(From a U.S. European Command news release.)