Training begins for military oxygen tanker drivers

Military personnel have begun their training to drive oxygen tankers in support of the NHS as part of the Armed Forces’ contribution to the Government’s coronavirus outbreak response.

They will be able to deliver oxygen supplies to NHS facilities around the country if needed.

Training began on Monday 23 March at an Air Products facility in Carrington, near Manchester. Armed Forces personnel from all three services will work alongside the civilian experts who provide oxygen to the NHS on a daily basis.

By the end of this week, a number of military personnel will have completed their training to fill the oxygen tankers, drive them safely and deposit the oxygen at NHS facilities.

Colour Sergeant Nick Barber, from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, British Army, was asked to attend the training due to his driving experience.

He said: “Once our training is complete at the end of the week, we will be on standby to move forward and deliver the essential supplies should we need to.

 “We will be trained, confident and ready to go.”

The Armed Forces are preparing to provide oxygen tanker drivers to support the NHS as part of the Military Aid to Civil Authorities (MACA) process. The training is part of prudent planning to ensure the NHS has the number of drivers it needs.

Military personnel will be able to take control of the oxygen tankers and take the stock to where it’s required if asked.

On 18 March Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced new measures to enable Armed Forces personnel to support public services in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Around 20,000 members of Armed Forces personnel are stood at readiness to help support the Government’s effort to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

image © Crown Copyright

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