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Military Aid: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 24304, tabled on 29 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Families Association's survey, published on 21 June 2021, that reported on the levels of public awareness of the contribution of the armed forces to the covid-19 vaccination programme in the UK.

Answered on

2 July 2021

The Directorate of Defence Communications (DDC), with support from the single services, has communicated the role of the Armed Forces in the response to the pandemic consistently in 2020-2021, releasing regular imagery, videos and press releases and facilitating interviews with numerous members of the COVID Support Force.

Coverage of support has featured in national and regional media, including all national broadcasters and in print. DDC has produced webpages to keep the media and public informed of the support being providing through the Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) process as below.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-support-force-the-mods-contribution-to-the-coronavirus-response

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-support-force-the-mods-continued-contribution-to-the-coronavirus-response

https://medium.com/voices-of-the-armed-forces/tagged/covid19

DDC also monitors public attitudes towards a range of Defence activity, including COVID response, to ensure effectiveness of our communications work.

In Quarter 1 of 2021 79% of respondents supported (strongly support or tend to support) British Military involvement as part of the UK's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, 76% of respondents felt fairly or very reassured by the idea of British Military involvement as part of the UK's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ministry of Defence will continue to communicate the support provided to the UK's Covid response.