Slovakia receives urgent medical supplies through SALIS capabilities
25 March 2020
Luxembourg, 25 March 2020 –About 48 tons of protective medical supplies arrived in Slovakia on 25 March 2020 to help combat the effects of coronavirus.
The SALIS AN-124 aircraft took off the morning of the 23rd of March from the SALIS Base of Operations, in Leipzig/Halle airport and arrived to Tianjin, northeaster China on the following day. The aircraft reached final destination in Bratislava airport at around 14:40 local time on 25 March.
Slovakia, like the Czech Republic, is using the Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) capabilities to airlift urgent medical protective equipment from China and tackle coronavirus crisis.
This mission presented similar challenges to the recent SALIS COVID-19 missions performed by the Czech Republic. Additional crewmembers were also allocated to this mission to enable a non-stop flight back to Slovakia. This together with the special procedures put in place ensured the maximum safety for all the members during the mission.
Slovakia has taken tough measures, including border closures, to slow down the spread of the disease. These medical supplies, mainly facemasks, surgical gloves and protective suits, will help alleviating the shortage and tackling the current crisis.
Strategic airlift capabilities have become key to help NATO Allies transferring medical equipment and other supplies during the COVID19 crisis.
The NATO Support and Procurement Agency stands ready and continues supporting NATO nations in their missions and operations.
Medical supplies being loaded in the AN-124 aircraft
The Strategic Air Lift International Solution or SALIS is a programme created to provide unique air transport capability (outsized cargo) for its participating nations. Currently, a group of nine NATO Allies (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) are benefiting from the programme. The programme is managed by the NATO Support Procurement Agency (NSPA) on behalf of the nine nations.
Through SALIS, nations obtain assured access of up to five AN-124 aircraft within few days. In addition, the current contract with Antonov Logistics SALIS also provides access to AN-22, AN-225 and IL-76 Chap IV aircraft.
The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) brings together, in a single organization, acquisition, logistic, medical and infrastructural capabilities including the related procurement function. As NATO's primary enabler, the Agency's mission is to provide effective and cost efficient multinational solutions to the Alliance, its thirty Nations and Partners. Since its establishment in 1958, NSPA acquires, operates, and maintains everything through an unbiased link between industry and the nations: from weapon systems to fuel delivery, port services, airfield logistics, medical and catering services or base support services for troops stationed across the world. The Agency enables the consolidation and centralisation of logistics management functions, providing a "cradle to grave" support and allowing its customers to achieve economies of scale.