Story and photos by Senior Airman Kristof Rixmann
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs May 21, 2020
In response to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak, an 86th Airlift Wing C-130J Super Hercules out of Ramstein Air Base, assisted the Italian government in transporting medical and other relief supplies between supply hubs in Milan and Rome, Italy, May 13.
The mission is the first in a planned series of U.S. Air Forces in Europe mobility support operations to Italy and helped redistribute more than 15,000 pounds of coronavirus disease 2019 relief supplies, including KN-95 masks, surgical gowns and COVID-19 test kits between Italian distribution hubs.
“One of the things this coronavirus pandemic has revealed is the importance of our European partnerships as we fight this invisible enemy together with our NATO allies and partners,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark August, 86th Airlift Wing commander. “It has also reinforced what we have known for a long time — airlift is always in high demand in any crisis or contingency, and professional airlift is our specialty.”
This delivery, along with a variety of other DOD support efforts, demonstrates the U.S. commitment to the global pandemic response and highlights the close partnership between the two NATO allies.
The mission also marked another successful use of NATO’s Rapid Air Mobility initiative, activated in March to help NATO military aircraft quickly transit through member nations during contingency response operations.