Soldiers have been assisting with the testing of NHS workers for COVID-19 in a new testing facility which has been set up in Glasgow Airport.
The Ministry of Defence say that the 17-acre car park site based on Abbotsinch Road is part of a series of measures being introduced to increase testing and response to the spread of COVID-19.
Members of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (2 SCOTS) have been carrying out the testing on the staff, starting on 7th April.
According to a news release from the MoD:
“The Glasgow Airport-based facility was introduced to test frontline NHS staff and is not open to the public. The new testing centre can have up to five lanes open and provides capacity for a greater number of COVID-19 tests each day. It operates between 10am and 4:30pm
The Armed Forces in Scotland are providing support to the Scottish and UK Governments’ efforts against the virus, providing planning, logistics and liaison support to the Scottish Government and all Scottish Health Boards, as well as this augmentation to the testing capacity. There are also three Puma Helicopters based at Kinloss Barracks in Moray, to support the Scottish Ambulance Service in rural and island areas.”
This is all being done as part of Operation Rescript. Operation Rescript is a military operation to assist the UK’s efforts to tackle the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United Kingdom.
In March, the Ministry of Defence announced the formation of the COVID Support Force as part of its measures to help tackle the Coronavirus outbreak. The support force comprised 20,000 military personnel tasked with supporting public services, which included 150 military personnel being trained to drive oxygen tankers to support the National Health Service.
Scientists from Defence Science and Technology Laboratory also began supporting Public Health England. Command and control of the COVID Support Force falls under Standing Joint Command, headed by Major General Charles Stickland.
The COVID Support Force includes 10 regional commands which are overseen from Aldershot. In April, an additional 3,000 reservist personnel joined the COVID Support Force.