As part of the Aviation Task Force Covid Support Force, a Chinook helicopter was deployed in support of the NHS assurance of Harrogate, Exeter and Sunderland Nightingale Hospitals.
The Clinical Panel Assurance visits will enable the Nightingale hospitals to open on the desired dates, providing additional support to NHS Trusts in the fight against Coronavirus, say the RAF.
What is the Aviation Task Force?
As part of the military’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, forces from Joint Helicopter Command are on standby to provide aviation capability in support to civil authorities.
The new COVID Aviation Task Force has helicopters on standby across the UK to support the government’s response to coronavirus. The RAF Puma, Army Air Corps Wildcat, RAF Chinook and Royal Navy Merlin provide essential medical evacuation capabilities as well as the ability to swiftly deliver essential equipment and personnel to where they are needed across the nation.
The following efforts have been made:
- 3 RAF Puma helicopters have been detached to Kinloss Barracks in Moray, Scotland to support requests for assistance from the NHS in Scotland and Northern England
- 2 British Army Air Corps Wildcat helicopters have been detached to RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire, to support requests in Scotland and Northern England
- 3 RAF Chinook helicopters are on standby at RAF Odiham in Hampshire and a further 2 British Army Air Corps Wildcat are on standby at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset to support Southern England
- 3 Royal Navy Merlin helicopters are also on standby at RNAS Culdrose to support Southern England, the Channel Islands and Isles of Scilly.