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08 Apr 20. UK offers funding for new approach to COVID-19 fight. The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has offered £1m ($1.23m) to fast-track innovations to aid the UK armed forces in the battle against the COVID-19 coronavirus. An open call for new ideas and approaches was launched on 8 April and will be open until 15 April with submissions closing at 12pm (BST). Consideration to applications made after 15 April will still be considered by DASA.
Anita Friend, Head of DASA, said: ‘This is a broad call for innovation, meaning we are open to any idea from anybody to solve or tackle any challenge.’
Several defence and aerospace companies have already stepped up their role in helping the NHS combat the pandemic. The British Army has also increased its role by delivering oxygen supplies, transporting patients and assisting with the development and operation of the new Nightingale Hospital in London. (Source: Shephard)
06 Apr 20. NATO Takes Steps to Combat Coronavirus. The coronavirus pandemic dominated a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels last week, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
“We addressed a number of issues, including our missions in Afghanistan and Iraq and our support for Georgia and Ukraine, but our response to the COVID-19 was at the top of our agenda,” the secretary general said.
In a joint declaration, the 30 foreign ministers expressed sympathy for victims of the virus, and paid tribute to the health care workers on the front lines in the battle against the virus. Many of the NATO allies’ service members are among those working against the virus.
“NATO was created to deal with crises, so we can help,” Stoltenberg said. “Our alliance is playing its part.”
The foreign ministers agreed to direct Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters, the supreme allied commander in Europe, to coordinate the necessary military support to combat the crisis in order to speedup and step up assistance, he said.
One way to help is by identifying the airlift capacity to ensure that medical supplies are delivered. Wolters will also coordinate on any surplus capacity or stocks. Additionally, he is tasked with matching requests for support with offers from allies and partners. “He will also implement simplified procedures for rapid air mobility, in coordination with Eurocontrol, using the NATO call sign for military relief flights,” the secretary general said.
Stoltenberg said NATO defense ministers will meet later this month to review the support NATO is providing to allies and decide on any further steps.
The defense ministers also will assess the medium- and long-term implications of the virus for alliance resilience, the continuity of essential work and the broader geostrategic picture, Stoltenberg said.
But the foreign ministers also had more than the COVID-19 pandemic on their minds at last week’s meeting. “NATO’s primary responsibility is to deliver security and defense for almost 1 billion people,” Stoltenberg said. “General Wolters updated ministers on the state of our military preparedness.”
The bottom line, the secretary general said, is that NATO’s ability to conduct operations has not been undermined. “Our forces remain ready, and our crucial work goes on — including in our multinational battlegroups in the east of the alliance, NATO Air Policing and our maritime deployments,” Stoltenberg said. “NATO military medical staff remain vigilant, monitoring the impact for NATO troops deployed on operations.”
The ministers also agreed on the next steps to counter terrorism and strengthen partnerships across the Middle East and North Africa.
“Ministers agreed to enhance our training mission in Iraq, taking on some of the training activities of the Global Coalition, including the training and education of noncommissioned officers, engineers and federal police,” the secretary general said. All this is done in close cooperation with Iraqi authorities.
The foreign ministers also want to deepen partnerships in the region, including with the African Union.
The foreign ministers also discussed Afghanistan and the alliance’s continued commitment to long-term peace and stability in the country. “To support the peace efforts, we are reducing our presence to around 12,000 by the summer,” Stoltenberg said. “No decision for a further reduction has been taken and all of our steps will be conditions-based.”
The foreign ministers called on the Taliban and all political actors to play their parts, including the reduction of violence. “This is the time for Afghans to show national unity in the national interest,” he said.(Source: US DoD)
06 Apr 20. Covid-19: UK mobilises reserves to assist civilian agencies. A drive to mobilise up to 3,000 reserve personnel to help assist civilian agencies with the Covid-19 pandemic has been approved by UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace. The ‘intelligent mobilisation’ of reservists across the British Army, Royal Navy (RN), and Royal Air Force was announced on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) website on 1 April as part of a drive to create a pool of specialist personnel who can work with the National Health Service (NHS) and other civilian emergency services. An MoD spokesperson said on 1 April that the aim was to have the first personnel mobilised within five days ready to deploy across the UK. (Source: Jane’s)
Founded in 1987, Exensor Technology is a world leading supplier of Networked Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) Systems providing tailored sensor solutions to customers all over the world. From our Headquarters in Lund Sweden, our centre of expertise in Network Communications at Communications Research Lab in Kalmar Sweden and our Production site outside of Basingstoke UK, we design, develop and produce latest state of the art rugged UGS solutions at the highest quality to meet the most stringent demands of our customers. Our systems are in operation and used in a wide number of Military as well as Home land Security applications worldwide. The modular nature of the system ensures any external sensor can be integrated, providing the user with a fully meshed “silent” network capable of self-healing. Exensor Technology will continue to lead the field in UGS technology, provide our customers with excellent customer service and a bespoke package able to meet every need. A CNIM Group Company