Romania has made use of a NATO airlift project to transport victims of a nightclub fire in Bucharest for treatment in the United Kingdom and Norway. Under NATO’s Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) project, Romania activated a C-17 aircraft, which flew from its base in Pápa, Hungary to Bucharest on Sunday (8 November 2015) to collect victims of a serious fire which took place on 30 October.
Nine burn victims, six in critical condition, were transported to London, United Kingdom and one was transported to Bergen, Norway for treatment, after which the aircraft returned to Pápa. The patients were accompanied by nine emergency physicians and eight nurses from Romania’s Mobile Emergency Service for Resuscitation and Extrication (SMURD).
The Strategic Airlift Capability is an initiative that gives NATO Allies and partners access to strategic airlift: the capability to transport personnel and supplies around the world. In 2009, the SAC procured three Boeing C-17 aircraft for this purpose, which are based at Pápa Airbase in Hungary. The aircraft are normally used for national requirements, but can also be allocated for international operations, including NATO, United Nations or European Union missions. In the past, they have supported NATO’s mission in Afghanistan, the Kosovo Force, Operation Unified Protector in Libya, humanitarian relief in Haiti and Pakistan, and African peacekeeping efforts.
The SAC project involves ten Allies (Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and the United States), and two partner nations (Finland and Sweden).
L. J. De Rothschild