Members of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade coordinated the load-out and delivery of approximately 100 hospital beds, 100 mattresses, 10 stretchers, 40 bedside screens, 25 adjustable IV poles, several folding wheelchairs, 25 medical cabinets, and more than 900 linens, an Army official said in an email.
The deliveries — along with those from many other countries and entities — come as Italian authorities struggle to contain coronavirus infections and worry it will spread to the south in a country that’s already among the worst hit by the pandemic in Europe.
Italy, which has an older population than most of Europe, has seen more fatalities than any other country. The latest data shows more than 7,500 people have died from the virus there, according to Reuters.
“We take this public health crisis seriously and understand how important it is to come together during this challenging time,” Army Europe commander Lt. Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli said in a statement.
“This mission is part of our ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19 and demonstrates the U.S commitment to our NATO ally and the people of Italy during this crisis," he added.
Since then, cases among U.S. military personnel have increased considerably.
As of Wednesday, there were about 175 cases per million troops, a rate that is actually higher than the greater U.S. population, which according to the CDC is sitting at 135 cases per million, Military Times previously reported.
The wide spread of U.S. troops in Asia and Europe, as well as the constant movement of personnel and equipment across continents, increases the risk of exposure for them.
Army Europe’s deliveries were part of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s humanitarian assistance program, and were made in coordination with U.S. diplomats and Italian authorities, according to the command.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq. Follow on Twitter @Kyle_Rempfer