Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Korea

02/24/2021 | Press release | Archived content

Military to mobilize available capabilities for vaccine transportation

The COVID-19 vaccine transportation task force has unveiled a plan to support vaccine transportation and security:

Task force to control the entire process, including cold chain·location tracking
Double-checking system in place to prepare for any emergency situations

The military plans to spearhead the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines by mobilizing all of its available capabilities, so that Korea's people can resume their daily lives.

On January 28, vice chief of staff of the Army Park Joo-gyeong, who is also the director of the COVID-19 vaccine transportation task force, unveiled a plan to support the transportation of vaccines at a briefing on the 'COVID-19 Vaccination Plan' presided over by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

'The task force will carry out its mission to support the rapid and safe transportation of vaccines for nationwide vaccination that will start from February,' Park said at the Thursday briefing. 'Of the various government-wide response organizations that are helping our nation to overcome the COVID-19 crisis, our military has taken on the mission of vaccine transportation. I can feel the significant burden of this responsibility.'

'The task force will carry out its mission to support military assets, including transportation and security, as well as respond proactively to any emergency situations that may occur during vaccine distribution,' Park explained, stressing that 'it will manage and supervise the overall situation related to vaccine distribution by incorporating all of its private-public-military-police capabilities.' 'Specifically speaking,' he continued, 'the task force will control the entire process of vaccine distribution, including checking the operation of cold chain in transportation and storage, and location-tracking. It will also prepare for various emergency situations that may affect vaccine transportation vehicles or distribution centers, including vehicle accidents, fire, blackout, and robbery,' he added,

The spokesperson for the task force said that the entire process of cold chain management, which is the kernel of vaccine transportation and storage, is achieved in real time through the establishment of an IoT-based integrated control center. In parallel with checking and supervising the system, our military plans to have a double-checking system to allow the military supervision personnel who will accompany during transportation to take prompt actions in the event of any emergency situations, including deviations from cold chain. It is also known that the task force and related authorities plan to carry out a step-by-step mock vaccine distribution drill in order to complete its mission.

As Park also stressed, the task force will 'actively support available military assets, including military aircrafts, helicopters, and vessels, for transportation to islands and mountain areas.' In this area, the Ministry of National Defense is working on support for vaccine transportation by mobilizing all available military capabilities. The ministry also actively participates in the government-wide response for vaccination by organizing a defense rapid support group and a task force (TF) by echelon (57 units, 528 persons), as well as allowing the transportation task force to belong to the KDCA's 'steering group for COVID-19 vaccination.'

By Chae-Mu, Im