Ministry of Defence
Handover of Mobile Testing Units
Military support to the National Testing Programme will be handed over in coming weeks as the Department for Health and Social Care establishes a long-term plan to deliver Coronavirus tests.
Since April, the world-renowned UK Armed Forces have deployed thousands of personnel at short notice to support Coronavirus Testing. They have worked alongside NHS staff and civilians at both Regional Sites around the country and in Mobile Testing Units, helping to deliver more than 6 million tests.
The Mobile Testing Units played a vital role in helping essential workers, who were most vulnerable to the virus, access tests. The unit was designed by British Army engineers in just 7 days. Since the programme began, more than 2,700 service personnel have run 218 mobile testing units, working nearly 1 million hours to conduct more than 700,000 tests around the country. Now the Armed Forces will train civilian contractors to continue this essential role.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace recently said:
Thousands of our Armed Forces personnel – regular, reservists plus supporting civilians – stepped up to serve on the front line in the fight against coronavirus.
The four month mission of those on the national testing programme helped to carry out more than six million tests, with 218 military Mobile Testing Teams deploying around the country as needed. This is an extraordinary effort.
As those teams now train civilian contactors to continue the work I want to say a huge thank you to our Armed Forces for doing what they do best and supporting the nation’s resilience in a time of crisis.
Maj Gen David Eastman MBE, Commander Standing Joint Command (UK),the headquarters who lead the Armed Forces’ response to Covid-19, recently said:
I am incredibly proud of our servicemen and women who designed and deployed with the Mobile Testing Units across the United Kingdom and provided the public with professional and efficient testing facilities. We are delighted to be able to support and complement the testing centres established by the NHS and will continue to deliver on any request for assistance in the fight against the Coronavirus.
In Northern Ireland, mobile testing units have been civilian operated from the outset. The handover process has now begun in England, Scotland and Wales.
- Key Facts
- Overall the National Testing Programme has conducted 6,211,703 tests at both Regional Testing Sites and Mobile Testing Units (as at 20 July).
- Military Mobile Testing Units have deployed 8,327 times, working 99,924 days or 999,240 hours, conducting 739,821 tests.
- 2,784 service personnel delivered 218 Mobile Testing Units with a daily testing capacity of 87,200 (as at 13 July).
Read more about how the UK Armed Forces supported the response to COVID-19 at the Voices of the Armed Forces blog
Latest News from
Ministry of Defence
£1.6 billion investment to upgrade UK Defence estate16/06/2021 10:25:00
Four contracts will deliver repairs and maintenance services across the UK defence estate, supporting thousands of UK jobs over the next seven years.
UK underlines commitment to Western Balkans with extension of troops in Kosovo15/06/2021 16:35:00
UK troops will continue to contribute to the NATO Mission in Kosovo (KFOR) until at least 2023.
Royal Navy delivers 75 tonnes of aid to Caribbean island15/06/2021 10:15:00
RFA Wave Knight carried 139 pallets of food, water, toiletries and other essential supplies to St Vincent to help residents who fled the volcanic eruption.
Defence Secretary meets with NATO Allies on board HMS Queen Elizabeth as Carrier Strike Group visits Italy14/06/2021 12:38:00
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has met with counterparts from Italy and Turkey on board HMS Queen Elizabeth during his first visit to the Carrier Strike Group since its departure from Portsmouth in May.
UK and US Strengthen Security Cooperation over Emerging Threats14/06/2021 11:10:00
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Joe Biden agreed a number of steps to enhance the world’s strongest bilateral defence and security partnership.
UK and Montenegro underline shared commitment to NATO on Carrier Strike Group visit14/06/2021 10:15:00
Coinciding with the visit of HMS Richmond, sailing from the UK Carrier Strike Group, Lady Goldie held high-level meetings to discuss NATO and regional security.
Forces families benefit from upgraded homes at RAF Waddington11/06/2021 15:15:15
Military homes at RAF Waddington, including that of Chf Tech Brindley and his family, are being refurbished thanks to additional Government funding.
First F-35B Lightning landing on HMS Prince of Wales11/06/2021 10:15:00
An F-35B Lightning aircraft has landed onboard the Royal Navy’s latest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, for the first time.
Armed Forces support the Police as Cornwall hosts G7 world leaders10/06/2021 15:15:15
Hundreds of personnel from across the three services will support Devon and Cornwall Police during the G7 Leaders’ Summit this weekend