U.S. Africa Command, in coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia, provided 310 oxygen canisters containing over one million liters of oxygen to the Tunisian Ministry of Health on July 26.
The Command said the donation, which arrived in country on board a Tunisian C-130, “demonstrates the strength of the bilateral relationship between the United States and Tunisia and highlights the support that U.S. Africa Command is able to provide to our partners.”
“We are proud to help one of our closest non-NATO allies protect their nation and their people,” said Lt. Gen. Kirk Smith, deputy commander, U.S. Africa Command. “This mission is an example of what we can accomplish working together with our U.S. government and African partners.”
“The United States is here to support the people of Tunisia during this serious health crisis. This oxygen donation is a symbol of the strong partnership between our two nations and will provide immediate relief to COVID-19 patients in hospitals across Tunisia,” said U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia, Donald Blome.
U.S. Africa Command purchased the canisters locally in Germany where the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, based out of Kaiserslautern, Germany, transported them to Ramstein Air Force Base. U.S. Air Force personnel loaded the cannisters onto pallets and a Tunisian C-130 delivered the donated oxygen to Tunisia.
The purchase was made possible through Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster and Civic Aid Appropriation, which supports the Secretary of Defense and Combatant Commanders’ security cooperation strategies to build local capabilities and cooperative relationships with allies, friends, civil society and potential partners.
AFRICOM has been active in assisting its African partners in the fight against COVID-19, supplying everything from field hospitals to Personal Protective Equipment across the continent. To date AFRICOM has provided COVID-19 support to 45 countries on the African continent.