Legislators discuss with Spanish military leader the role of armed forces in the COVID-19 crisis

02 June 2020

“Armed forces play a key role in supporting civilian efforts to overcome the COVID-19 crisis. As with all those on the frontlines, our men and women in uniform are demonstrating admirable courage and dedication,” President Attila Mesterhazy (Hungary) said ahead of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s (NATO PA) second webinar addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All our countries have been gripped by this unprecedented crisis. Through solidarity and unity of purpose, we will defeat this invisible enemy together. It is therefore very important to hear first-hand from military leaders about the role of the armed forces, cooperation in the Alliance, and initial lessons learnt,” he continued.

Close to 90 Assembly members and parliamentary staff joined the webinar with Lieutenant General Fernando Lopez del Pozo, Commander of the Spanish Operations Command. Lieutenant General Lopez del Pozo commands Operation Balmis, the mission of the Spanish armed forces in the coronavirus crisis.

Members engaged in a lively and in-depth exchange with the General on how military personnel have supported civilian efforts in Spain by, for example, setting up field hospitals, disinfecting facilities, and providing military airlift. He also outlined how Allies and NATO tools have assisted Spain in its response.

This webinar was part of the NATO PA’s response and adaptation to the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to a series of webinars, the Assembly has planned a number of virtual meetings on the short- and long-term impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Assembly Committees are currently preparing special draft reports which will address the broad range of issues and challenges connected with the crisis.