Military's 'Ingenuity And Determination' Praised In Coronavirus Response


The Defence Secretary has praised military personnel for their "ingenuity and determination", after 96 mobile coronavirus testing units were confirmed as ready for use.

The mobile test units (MTUs), which were got ready by the military, mean a more key workers can be tested for COVID-19.

Personnel at the units have been swabbing medical staff at sites selected daily by the Department for Health and Social Care.

Ninety-six mobile testing units (MTUs) are now operational, with 92 of them being staffed by the military.

The mobile facilities, which have the capacity to test 300 people each day across the UK, were rolled out by service members last month.

The MTUs, developed by the military, operate out of drive through sites to help access those who are isolated communities such as care homes.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "The UK Armed Forces’ exceptional skills, ingenuity and determination to accomplish such a feat deserve real credit.

"In just one week they have created a national network of testing to ensure our health and care workers, wherever they live, can remain on the front line against this virus."

42 Commando Royal Marines Testing in Devon CORONAVIRUS 26042020 CREDIT MOD
Ninety-two of 96 mobile testing units are staffed by the Armed Forces (Picture: MOD).

The plan is for 92 MTUs to be staffed by the Armed Forces, with four more in Northern Ireland staffed by civilian contractors.

Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch commands the Standing Joint Force which is in charge of the military's COVID Support Force during the crisis. Speaking about the work to help meet testing targets he said:

"It was a Herculean effort from the Armed Forces to deliver this in support of the NHS; from securing a supply of vehicles, redesigning and refitting them to create the mobile testing units, to training the testers and deploying the teams out across the country."

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock also praised the "hugely important" efforts of the military.

"I want to thank the Army for their incredible hard work and dedication in helping tackle this crisis and getting the country back on its feet as soon as possible," he said.

The mobile testing builds on wider support offered by the Ministry of Defence’s COVID Support Force, where thousands of personnel are at higher readiness.

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