Europa — Military Adjusts to Icelandic Volcano’s Ashfall

WASHINGTON, April 19, 2010 — Ash from an Ice­landic vol­cano con­tin­ues to wreak hav­oc with air flights across Europe, includ­ing Amer­i­can mil­i­tary flights.
Thou­sands of com­mer­cial and mil­i­tary flights from Ire­land to the Ukraine have been can­celled as the Eyjaf­jal­la­jokull vol­cano, which start­ed erupt­ing last week, con­tin­ues to spew ash.

The Amer­i­can mil­i­tary is mak­ing adjust­ments. The U.S. bases in Milden­hall and Lak­en­heath, Eng­land, and Ram­stein and Spang­dahlem air bases in Ger­many have been affect­ed by the ash plume.

“There are no flight ops due to the manda­to­ry dec­la­ra­tion and sus­pen­sion of flights from Euro­Con­trol,” Pen­ta­gon spokesman Bryan Whit­man said today. Euro­Con­trol is the equiv­a­lent of the U.S. Fed­er­al Avi­a­tion Admin­is­tra­tion.

“We still have a sol­id con­tin­gency plan for evac­u­at­ing our wound­ed out of [the U.S. Cen­tral Com­mand area], and we’ve relo­cat­ed some of our aeromed­ical evac­u­a­tion air­craft to Rota, Spain, along with med­ical teams that pro­vide for care all along the route,” Whit­man added.

Flights trans­port­ing ill and wound­ed sol­diers that would nor­mal­ly head to Land­stuhl Region­al Med­ical Cen­ter in Ger­many are being rerout­ed. Joint Base Bal­ad in Iraq has become the new hub for mil­i­tary aeromed­ical evac­u­a­tions, with the first patients arriv­ing April 17 at the Air Force The­ater Hos­pi­tal there. The new mede­vac route runs from Bagram, Afghanistan, to Bal­ad, Iraq, to a refu­el­ing stop at Rota and final­ly to Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facil­i­ty Wash­ing­ton in Mary­land.

Tak­ing the wound­ed along the south­ern rim of Europe takes about eight hours longer than fly­ing through Ger­many or Eng­land, Whit­man said, but all aeromed­ical evac­u­a­tion needs are being met. Aer­i­al refu­el­ing will be employed if clin­i­cal needs of the patient require it, offi­cials said, but it has not been need­ed yet.

The ash plume has had no effect on oper­a­tions in Afghanistan, Whit­man said. Some resup­ply flights have been affect­ed, with Euro­pean goods now flow­ing from oth­er logis­tics hubs, U.S. Trans­porta­tion Com­mand offi­cials said. Still, most mil­i­tary goods ship via land or water, and these ship­ments have not been affect­ed.

How­ev­er, the ground­ing of flights did affect NATO Exer­cise Bril­liant Ardent 10, U.S. Air Force offi­cials report­ed. The large-scale NATO response air live exer­cise, host­ed by Ger­many, began April 12 and was sched­uled to run through April 22. Dur­ing the exer­cise, the 22nd Fight­er Squadron at Spang­dahlem Air Base and the 351st Air Refu­el­ing Squadron from Roy­al Air Force Milden­hall, have been part­ner­ing with air forces from the Czech Repub­lic, France, Ger­many, Italy, Poland, and Turkey in the exer­cise.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →