The Ministry of Defence have detailed their contribution to the Coronavirus response.

The MoD say that their COVID Support Force is currently supporting the public services to respond to the outbreak with the following activity.

The following comes directly from the Ministry of Defence and can be found here.

Strengthening public services

Personnel at readiness

On 18 March the Defence Secretary announced a COVID Support Force to assist public services with the response to the coronavirus outbreak. As of 23 March, there are 250 personnel deployed to assist civil authorities with the response. They are part of 20,000 armed forces personnel currently stood at readiness to take part.

Military planners

The armed forces have contributed dozens of specialist military planners to Local Resilience Forums who are providing support to public services, local authorities and emergency services in preparing their response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Supporting the NHS

Oxygen tanker drivers

On Monday 23 March, armed forces personnel began training to drive oxygen tankers in support of the NHS. Around 150 members of personnel from all three services will be trained to drive supplies of oxygen to NHS facilities if required.

Delivering personal protective equipment (PPE)

Fifty members of armed forces personnel have begun assisting the NHS with the distribution and delivery of PPE. The number of personnel is likely to be increased to 250 when the programme is running at full capacity.

Visiting the ExCeL centre

A small team of military planners visited the ExCeL centre with staff from NHS England to determine if the armed forces could support the NHS response to the outbreak. No final decisions have been taken at this time, but their work continues.

Protecting communities

Medical evacuations

On Sunday 22 March, an RAF A400M transport aircraft responded to a request to transfer a critically-ill COVID-positive patient from hospital in the Shetland Islands to an intensive care unit in Aberdeen. The male patient, in his 60s, was in a deteriorating condition and needed urgently to be evacuated. Before returning to its home base at RAF Brize Norton, the aircraft was cleaned.

Joint Helicopter Command

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. This will enable access to isolated communities that may not be able to obtain urgent medical care during the coronavirus crisis.

The Support Helicopter Force, Army Air Corps and Commando Helicopter Force will provide helicopters and personnel from all three services to respond as required. Find out more about Joint Helicopter Command.

Repatriation flights

So far, the military have assisted with repatriation flights from China and Japan. This included providing medically-trained members of service personnel and a military runway for aircraft to land in the United Kingdom. The repatriation flights allowed British citizens to return home safely and receive the medical treatment they needed.

For more information please visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do guidance page on

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1 year ago

Good luck to everyone . Try to keep to the rules.
I am 69. My wife is 71. Our daughter is a GP, she’s worried. Our daughter in law has just had a stem cell replacement and low on immunisation. Our kitchen fitting is delayed. That’s minor, but have just heard that the fitters wife is having chemo!

She is one of many. There are very large numbers of people at risk. The rules are there for a reason. Do not spread the virus… just spread the rules!

Mark B
Mark B
1 year ago
Reply to  Trevor

Well said.

1 year ago

I wonder how many CBRN suits and masks the MOD have in stock. They must have stockpiled for reserves etc in the event of war. They probably have held onto the S10 respirators too. Now these are better than any paper masks and, as long as full decontamination drills are undertaken, would offer the NHS staff and Police total protection from inhaling the virus. Surely these should now be issued and staff trained in there use?

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob

Viruses don’t pentrate the skin, but has to enter through opening like mouth and eyes. Respartos would certainly work if not a bit over kill, but nbc suits are all but useless.

1 year ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Correct Harry but they should be using the gas masks (and these are only good if the filters are available and the decon drills are carried out when they are taken off). I wonder how many new GS respirators & old S10 respirators the MOD are holding – 300,000??

gary fifield
1 year ago

hi frm gary fifield can any one tell me were i can get hold of a suitable resporator mask that help me prevent catching the illnes and a suitable suit thats is not going to cost the earth that is machine wasable I HAVE DONE NBC TRAINING WITH TA AND THIS WOULD BE USFULL