UK MoD sets up COVID Support Force and halts Iraq training
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has placed 10,000 military personnel on high readiness as part of a COVID Support Force to support public services.
This brings to 20,000 the total number of military personnel ready to be mobilised to tackle the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The MoD also said that training will begin from 23 March for 150 personnel to drive oxygen tankers on behalf of the National Health Service.
Maj Gen Charlie Stickland, Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff Operations and Commitments, said the measures would give ‘greater flexibility to support public services as and when they require our assistance. The COVID Support Force, potentially drawing upon our highly skilled scientists… will form part of a whole force effort to support the country during its time of need’.
These measures come as Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence, announced the suspension of coalition training missions in Iraq for at least 60 days and the redeployment of soldiers in Iraq back to the UK.
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