The Ministry of Defence has recently established a Covid19 Aviation Task Force to support frontline emergency services in their fight against Covid19 across the UK.
By using the UK’s Armed Forces helicopters, with their specialist equipment enabling night flight capabilities, the Task Force can help to reduce the pressures on vital frontline services such as the Wales Air Ambulance Service.
Sadly, the offer of assistance has been declined by the Welsh Government, despite the Task Force being successfully deployed in Scotland and England.
Commenting, Mark Isherwood AM – Shadow Armed Forces Minister in the National Assembly for Wales – said:
“In times of crisis our Armed Forces always rise to the challenge by making themselves available to support our communities and defend them from threats.
"Right now the Aviation Task Force stands ready and willing to assist with emergency hospital transfers and the delivery of essential equipment to hospitals and other facilities as we seek to defeat the coronavirus yet it appears that the Welsh Government has declined the offer of support."
Darren Millar AM – who is Chair of the Cross-Party Group on the Armed Forces and Cadets in the National Assembly – said:
“I have written to the First Minster to urge him reconsider this position; when we are on a war footing we need to take advantage of every asset at our disposal to save lives and relieve pressure on our NHS."