Military Capabilities

Covid-19: UK military mobilises to support civilian authorities

23 March 2020

UK military chiefs have been ordered to make preparations to call thousands of ex-service personnel back into the armed forces to fill gaps in their 20,000-strong force dedicated to support civilian agencies during the Covid-19 crisis if its members start falling sick.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced the formation of the Covid-19 Support Force, known within the UK armed forces as the Military Assistance to the Civil Authorities (MACA) Military Support Force, on 19 March to stand ready to support local emergency services and the National Health Service in their response to the pandemic.

In a guidance document to the UK armed forces circulated to all senior commanders on 20 March and seen by Jane’s , Chief of Defence Staff General Nick Carter said this is a time for military leaders across the armed forces to “step up and deliver”.

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