2020’s Top Ten Stories: The COVID Support Force
Your number one most-read story this year is the UK Armed Forces’ efforts in helping fight COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic.
Each day in the run-up to New Year’s Day we have been reposting our most-read stories from 2020.
Other stories featured in the top-ten are;
Military Aid to Civil Authorities: The COVID Support Force
To support the UK’s response to the coronavirus outbreak back in March, up to 20,000 Service personnel were on standby to help, when requested.
At times of crisis, the Government often calls upon the military to contribute to the national response due to their specialist skill-set and equipment. This is called Military Aid to Civil Authorities or MACA.
As the Government and nation began to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, behind the scenes a team of military planners from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force were embedded within Government departments to offer expert advice.
The military also assisted with bringing British citizens home from affected areas around the world such as China and Japan.
The UK Armed Forces then put an additional 10,000 military personnel at a higher level of readiness. Earmarked for their specialist skills, these Servicemen and women were trained and ready to deploy around the country to support public services if the Government asked them to.
- 150 military personnel were ready to support the NHS by driving oxygen tankers.
- Up to 20,000 Servicemen and women earmarked for the COVID Support Force.
- Reserve sailors, soldiers and airmen and women received a Call out Order enabling them to join the response effort if required.
- Defence scientists from Defence Science and Technology Laboratories supported Public Health England’s effort to understand the virus and tackle the spread.
There are well-rehearsed systems in place for the military to provide support to civil authorities when required — for example, soldiers help build flood defences during floods.
- British Army deploy flood relief during Storm Dennis
- Military Aid to Civil Authorities: What is MACA?
The departments of state are front and centre of the Government’s response to this crisis and the UK Armed Forces have been ready to support in a variety of roles.
Our soldiers, sailors and airmen and women are currently deployed overseas tackling terrorism, maintaining peace and ensuring the safety of the UK — they continue to maintain their obligations to these operations around the world at this time.