On 16th March the U.S. Air Force quietly flew 500,000 swabs for COVID-19 testing kits from Aviano AFB to Memphis, Tennessee, via Ramstein AFB, Germany.
“Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman confirmed the shipment on board an Air National Guard aircraft. The plane carried “swabs” that are used in the COVID-19 testing process, he said during a Wednesday afternoon briefing at the Pentagon” Defense One has learned.
We’ve tracked this flight.
The first flight was operated by an USAF Boeing C-17A (reg. 01-0189 callsign RCH911 -sic!-) departed from Aviano AFB at 13:08 CET and landed in Ramstein AFB, Germany, at 14:37 CET.
Then the pallets with the tests was loaded on another USAF C-17A (reg. 01-0191 callsign RCH911) which left Ranstein on 18:18 CET for Bangor, where is landed on 02:22 CET.
The aircraft departed from Bangor on 03:52 CET and is finally landed in Memphis at 07:17 CET.
“Shipping the kits to Memphis allows them to be quickly transferred to commercial aircraft and distributed around the country, according to people familiar with the mission“, Defense One says .
In Italy the news has been reported by several newspapers (La Repubblica and Il Fatto quotidiano).