A C-130J from the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, delivered more than 33,000 pounds of COVID-19 relief supplies to Italy as part of a new NATO initiative to quickly transmit equipment.
The C-130J carried KN-95 masks, surgical gowns, and COVID-19 test kits to Italian logistics hubs in Milan and Rome, according to a U.S. Air Forces in Europe release. The flight was the first in a series of planned operations to Italy to redistribute supplies.
“One of the things this coronavirus pandemic has revealed is the importance of our European partnerships as we fight this invisible enemy together with our NATO allies and partners,” 86th Airlift Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Mark August said in the release. “It has also reinforced what we have known for a long time—airlift is always in high demand in any crisis or contingency, and professional airlift is our specialty.”
B-roll documenting an 86th Airlift Wing C-130J Super Hercules out of Ramstein Air Base, Germany, assisting the Italian government in transporting medical and other relief supplies between supply hubs in Milan and Rome, Italy, on May 13, 2020, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Video: Senior Airman Kristof Rixmann/86th Airlift Wing
The flight was coordinated as part of NATO’s Rapid Air Mobility initiative, which began in March, to simplify procedures for relief flights by using NATO call signs to speed up air traffic control clearances across Europe.
“Since the beginning of the crisis, military forces from across the alliance have helped to transport patients, medical personnel, and hundreds of tons of supplies,” NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in a statement. “The latest use of NATO’s Rapid Air Mobility initiative shows how NATO is taking concrete steps to ensure we can act even more quickly in this crisis.”