German soldiers could be sent on crisis missions to other NATO and partner countries during the second wave of the corona pandemic.
As a defense ministry spokesman for the German news agency confirmed upon request, the federal government has promised NATO support for its “Allied Hand” contingency plan. According to this, medical personnel, pioneers and experts of the troops would be provided for defense against nuclear, biological or chemical hazards for missions abroad.
A total of about 160 specialists could be sent. In addition, according to Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) ministry, there could be soldiers supporting the respective deployment from Germany.
For example, the emergency plan should be activated if the health system in allies or NATO partner countries such as Ukraine, Georgia or Sweden threatens to collapse due to very high levels of infections and asks the affected state for support. A resolution of the 30 NATO states in the North Atlantic Council would also be needed.
[Wenn Sie alle aktuellen Entwicklungen zur Coronavirus-Pandemie live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können.]
In addition to Germany, according to information from alliance circles, four other Allied forces have committed themselves so far, including Great Britain and France. At the Alliance’s headquarters, it is hoped that other countries will follow suit in the coming weeks. NATO forces could also be used to transport ambulances or set up field hospitals.
The “Allied Hand” operation plan is part of NATO’s preparations for a further escalation of the pandemic. They also include building a trust fund and building medical equipment camps.
Bundeswehr also helped in Great Britain
Almost two weeks ago, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that North Macedonia’s small and relatively financially weak alliance would be supplied with, among other things, 60 fans and that another 60 would be supplied to Albania. “This is NATO solidarity in action,” said Stoltenberg.
The Bundeswehr had already supported partners bilaterally during the first wave of the pandemic. The German armed forces helped overloaded clinics in Great Britain with mobile fans. In Germany, soldiers are currently supporting offices in tracing chains of infection. In addition, there have recently been assignments for example in connection with corona tests on return travelers or the transport of medical equipment. (dpa)