The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)

Trio of copters sent to provide support


Three RAF helicopter­s have been dispatched to the north-east to support the emergency response to coronaviru­s.

The Puma aircraft will be based at Kinloss Barracks and have been tasked with responding to requests for assistance from the NHS across Scotland and the north of England alongside crews in north Yorkshire.

A second base has been set up in Oxfordshir­e to cover the south of England. The aircraft can be used for evacuating patients and transporti­ng NHS staff and equipment as well as the military.

Their deployment follows concerns about the treatment of coronaviru­s patients on islands, where there are limited or no intensive care facilities.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The creation of these helicopter hubs is the next step in our armed forces’ contributi­on to tackling the coronaviru­s outbreak whenever it appears throughout the United Kingdom.

“Our aircraft are ready to support emergency services and local communitie­s wherever needed across the Highlands and islands of Scotland.”

Moray MP Douglas Ross added: “We have always known how lucky we are to have a large military presence here, and have welcomed them as a vital part of our community, appreciati­ng the work they do to keep us safe.

“This extra response and creation of a helicopter hub at Kinloss Barracks shows Moray is again at the centre of the operation to assist with the Covid-19 outbreak and we thank everyone for their efforts at this challengin­g time.”

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