A Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifter has arrived in Romania on March 26 carrying medical supplies to help the country tackle the current coronavirus crisis.
The aircraft landed in Otopeni Military Air Force Base in Bucharest at 09:00 local time with about 45 tons of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sets.
The flight was arranged by NATO-managed Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) in response to an emergency requirement to transport protective medical equipment from Seoul, South Korea. 72 hours after receiving the request, SAC-01, one of the three SAC Globemaster C-17s, took off from the Pápa Air Base, in Hungary for South Korea.
The 100,000 sets of protective medical equipment will be issued by the Romanian government to supply the contingent fighting COVID-19 in the front line.
This SAC C-17 mission in support to Romania, together with the SALIS missions executed in support of the Czech Republic and Slovakia reassures the value of strategic airlift capabilities. The three NATO nations are making use of their flight hours to transfer medical equipment and other supplies during the COVID19 crisis.
NATO oversees two strategic airlift programs. As part of the Strategic Airlift Capability or SAC, Allies and partner countries jointly own and operate three C-17 Globemaster heavy cargo aircraft, sharing flying hours and costs. Allies also charter several Antonov transport aircraft under the Alliance’s Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) program. These programs routinely moved personnel and supplies from Europe to NATO bases in Afghanistan and Kosovo as well as humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti and Pakistan.
Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC)
The Strategic Airlift Capability is a multinational program that provides assured access to strategic military airlift capability for its 12 member nations, Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, 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 in Hungary, 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).