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Published: 5 August 2021 , [Missing text '/pagetypes/nescardpage/atFull' for 'English'] 14:27

Two light scooping aircraft sent to forest fires in Greece

Several serious forest fires are raging in Greece. Greece has requested international assistance through the EU's civil protection cooperation, rescEU. The EU has requested that Sweden send the scooping aircraft on standby for EU operations. Sweden has confirmed via MSB that the aircraft are available and Greece has accepted the offer.

The aircraft departed Sweden Wednesday 1700 hours for Greece. The flight will be made in several stages. The time of arrival is depending on the weather situation in central Europe.

“We consider it a matter of course to provide support to Greece, through the EU cooperation. It feels extra good to be able to offer it given the support we received from the EU in 2018,” says Roger Gustafsson, Project Manager at MSB's Response and Operations Department.

Continued high preparedness in Sweden

Sweden's fire preparedness is primarily handled by the local rescue service, which can, if necessary, request additional support from the remaining flying resources, two scooping aircraft and up to ten helicopters.

“When we make the assessment to deploy aircraft, it is always contingent on having a high level of preparedness in Sweden. Once we have ensured that, we see what capability we have to support other countries, in this case Greece. The strength of the joint EU cooperation is that we use our resources in an efficient manner and cooperate and help each other, both within the EU and with our Nordic neighbours,” says Roger Gustafsson, Project Manager at MSB's Response and Operations Department.

Facts - What Sweden and MSB provide

Two light scooping aircraft with associated crew are made available to Greece through rescEU and the civil protection mechanism. The scooping aircraft are part of rescEU, which is an additional safety net with common EU resources where the EU funds most of the cost and Sweden hosts the resource. The EU funds 75 percent of the operating costs and the recipient country, as a general rule, bears the remaining 25 percent.

Sweden has been part of rescEU since 2019 and this is the first time flying assets hosted by Sweden have been activated.

EU and civil protection

News article: Forest fires: EU helps Italy, Greece, Albania and North Macedonia to fight devastating fires

Published: 5 August 2021 , [Missing text '/pagetypes/nescardpage/atFull' for 'English'] 14:27

Latest reviewed: 5 August 2021

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