As part of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the British Army have been supporting civil authorities with the planning and logistical elements of the nationwide response.
As a recent service leaver and having just joined Matero Consulting, I have found myself mobilised back into uniform as part of OPERATION RESCRIPT, the name given to the British Army’s efforts to support civil authorities during the Covid-19 crisis. The Military Assistance to Civil Authorities (MACA) has been an ongoing and established task that the Army has facilitated for a long time, most recently with aiding flood defences across the nation. The Covid-19 crisis has seen an escalation in the need for military planning and strategy to aid with a whole host of tasks, from aiding testing centres and providing support to the new Nightingale hospitals which are now having a tangible effect on the way the UK is responding to the crisis.
I am currently part of a military Covid Support Force (CSF) stood by to support the response in the South East. Predominantly, we are planning alongside civilian organisations such as the Police, Fire Service and the Local Government in order to ensure the county is in the best possible position for the unknown and bringing an ordered response in what is essentially a fast changing and complex situation, the likes of which the UK has not had to endure in generations. The CSFs across UK are stood by to support local authorities when requested. The situation has thrown added frictions such as dealing with social distancing as an example which will impact any subsequent tasks which the military may be asked to facilitate, but planning operations in an ever-changing environment has inherently been the bread and butter of the military for centuries, particularly when lives are very much at stake.
It’s a great opportunity to combine what I learned in the Army regarding decision making, planning and leadership while also drawing on the experience I have had of applying the same principles with Matero consulting, albeit in a commercial setting. The company are certainly supporting my deployment and the team at Matero call me on a weeklybasis to keep in touch and find out how I am doing.