Military Aid to Civil Authorities: The COVID Support Force
To support the UK’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak, up to 20,000 troops have been earmarked 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 responds to the Coronavirus outbreak, behind the scenes a team of military planners from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force have been embedded within Government departments to offer expert advice.
So far, the military has also assisted with bringing British citizens home from affected areas around the world such as China and Japan.
Going forward, the UK Armed Forces has put an additional 10,000 military personnel at a higher level of readiness. Earmarked for their specialist skills, these troops will be trained and ready to deploy around the country to support public services if the government asks them to.
- 150 military personnel could support the NHS by driving oxygen tankers, they will begin training on Monday and embed if required.
- Up to 20,000 troops earmarked for the COVID Support Forces.
- Reserve Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and women will receive a Call out Order so they are able to join the response effort if required.
- Defence scientists from Defence Science and Technology Laboratories are supporting 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 — most recently soldiers have helped build flood defences in the north of the country.
- 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 stand ready to support in a variety of roles when called upon to do so.
Our soldiers, sailors and airmen are currently deployed overseas tackling terrorism, maintaining peace and ensuring the safety of the UK — they will continue to maintain their obligations to these operations around the world at this time.