Medical supplies to be brought to Lithuania by an aircraft chartered by the Ministry of National Defence and the Lithuanian Armed Forces
The Ministry of National Defence and the Lithuanian Armed Forces made a decision to use a Boeing 747F aircraft as part of the military airlift cooperation platform to bring medical protective supplies from China to Lithuania. The aircraft was booked through the Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE) on the basis of a request from the Ministry of Health with regard to the currently significant shortage of civilian air transportation capabilities.
The military aircraft of Luxembourg is planned to bring the medical protective supplies from China to Vilnius or Kaunas airport on Sunday, April 12.
Another flight has been booked in the same manner for bringing cargo from China on April 16.
The Movement Control Centre Europe is a military cooperation mechanism of NATO and the European Union which allows participants to use their capabilities in a smart way, primarily, for moving troops and cargo. As a result of acute shortage of civilian air transport on the market, Lithuania for the first time uses the mechanism for humanitarian purposes – for managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Lithuania became a member of the MCCE which currently includes 28 NATO and EU member states sharing military lift capabilities in 2015.
“Transportation of medical protective supplies to Lithuania by military airlift is another contribution of the National Defence System to the fight of our state against the COVID-19 pandemic. Our soldiers have been assisting specialists from the National Public Health Centre at airports and Klaipėda Seaport and helping Border Guard Service to control flows of arriving travellers on the Lithuanian border since the introduction of the quarantine. Several dozen of Military Police officers have been assisting civilian police patrols in ensuring public order since the weekend, three flights of the Lithuanian Air Force Spartan aircraft were arranged to repatriate Lithuanians from abroad and bring medical supplies,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis says.
The Ministry of National Defence will pay Luxembourg for the transportation in the so-called EFP (equivalent flight our) credits. As a member of the MCCE Lithuania offers its allies to use its air capabilities, e.g., C-27 Spartan, and to use allies’ capabilities. Therefore payments for such services are reimbursed in flight hours rather than financially.