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Aug 6 2020

The Netherlands delivers Search and Rescue capacity to Lebanon

Pápa (Hungary), 6 August 2020 – The Netherlands has sent Search and Rescue personnel and heavy equipment to the city of Beirut (Lebanon), which was shaken by devastating explosions on 4 August 2020. The personnel and equipment were delivered last night through an Emergency Response Mission executed by the NSPA-supported Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC). 

Search and rescue capabilities are the first and most needed assets and expertise in a catastrophe-struck area like the one in the Lebanese capital, therefore swift planning and action was paramount to get the experts on the ground as quickly as possible. Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) group from the Netherlands landed around midnight Beirut time on 5 August 2020, less than 24 hours after mission request.

The Netherlands delivers Search and Rescue capacity to Lebanon
Photo credits : Jasper Verolme (Dutch Combat Camera)

The team, which consists of approximately 63 people and eight detection dogs, was split between a commercial airline and one of the SAC's three Boeing Globemaster C-17-s during transportation. The SAC's heavy airlifter carried all the 14 tons of heavy search and rescue equipment the Dutch experts will need for their operations in Beirut.

According to Lebanon's health minister, at least 137 people were killed and 5,000 wounded in the massive explosion that shook Beirut last Tuesday. The USAR.NL team will help searching survivors.

Photo credits : Jasper Verolme (Dutch Combat Camera)

About the Strategic Airlift Capability

The Strategic Airlift Capability is a multinational programme that provides assured access to strategic military airlift capability for its 12 member nations, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United States of America.

The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) manages the full life cycle management of the three Globemaster C-17 aircraft stationed at Pápa Airbase, including acquisition and sustainment. Mission execution is the sole responsibility of the operational arm of the SAC, the multinational military unit, the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW).

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