Troops from 4 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps arrive in Wales this week to begin training to support the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST).
An initial tranche of 50 personnel will link in with paramedics to begin the task after a Military Aid to the Civil Authorities deployment was authorised, with a further 60 Defence personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to follow on, making the total deployed to 110.
The military support, under Joint Military Command Wales, will help to ease pressures resulting from the pandemic and ensure the Welsh Ambulance Service can continue to provide their essential service, including attending life-threatening calls quickly.
'I am proud of the tireless work of all our service personnel during this pandemic." Ben Wallace, Defence Secretary.
A further three military planners will be deployed to support the NHS in Wales. They will work in conjunction with representatives of each of the seven health boards in Wales to develop pragmatic solutions aimed at improving resilience to the operational pressures currently being experienced pan-Wales.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “I am proud of the tireless work of all our service personnel during this pandemic. They continue to provide important support, working alongside our dedicated emergency services across the UK. The deployment of 110 personnel to support the ambulance service will ensure WAST can continue to deliver their life-saving services.”
The Military Commander for Wales, Brigadier Andrew Dawes CBE said: "We have been on hand to support communities across Wales throughout the pandemic and have been privileged to work alongside paramedics from the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust previously. This latest deployment of Service personnel should help ease the anticipated pressures during the winter period.’
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “Once again the UK’s armed forces are playing a key role in the fight against Covid-19 by supporting the critical work of the Welsh Ambulance Service. I am hugely grateful for their commitment and expertise. I would like to extend my gratitude to all those who have worked incredibly hard to ensure our public services deliver for the people of Wales throughout the pandemic.”
Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service Jason Killens said: “We’re proud and grateful to be working alongside the military once again, who did a superb job of assisting us on two occasions previously last year.
"The pandemic has presented a challenge like no other, but the last couple of months in particular have meant significant and sustained pressures on our ambulance service, including high levels of demand and an increase in Covid-19 related activity.
“Winter is our busiest time, and having military colleagues on board once more will bolster our capacity and put us in the best possible position to provide a safe service to the people of Wales.”
This is the third deployment of the Armed Forces to support WAST since the pandemic began in March 2020. 68 personnel deployed in April 2020 and 120 personnel, including Defence medics, augmented dedicated Welsh Ambulance Service staff in December 2020.
Defence also supported the vaccine rollout in Wales earlier this year and previously deployed during the pandemic to provide specialist planning advice, deliver PPE and support the community testing programme in Merthyr Tydfil.