A former commanding officer at Camp Bastion's pop-up military hospital has issued a pep-talk to staff working at the new NHS Nightingale hospitals, telling them: "There is an end to this, you will defeat the enemy."
Captain Carol Betteridge, who ran the field hospital in Helmand Province during British presence in Afghanistan, said there were many comparisons with the pop-up medical centre and the temporary facilities created back on home soil to treat coronavirus patients.
And she praised the staff and volunteers - including military veterans - for getting involved in the Nightingale project, despite the extremely challenging conditions that lay ahead.
Capt Betteridge, who was made an OBE in 2012 for her work in Afghanistan and now works as for military charity Help for Heroes, said:
The first Nightingale hospital, at the ExCeL London, admitted its first patients on Tuesday, while the second facility will open in Birmingham on Friday.
Further hospitals will open in Bristol, Manchester and Harrogate, NHS England has confirmed.
Capt Betteridge said staff and volunteers had done an "amazing job" to get the London Nightingale open in such a tight time frame - and described those working in it as "the heroes of today".
And she said the support from the public, such as the nation joining in a regular Thursday evening minute's applause, would provide the same boost to frontline workers as the messages from home did to servicemen and women based in Afghanistan during the early part of the 21st century.